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Black Bear

American black bears, Ursus americanus , which colonized the New World 3.5 million years ago . Their ancestors arrived over the Bering land bridge into a well populated land of predators, the Tremarctine ( short - nosed ) bears had arrived 12 million years earlier. Black bears would of been on the food chain for many animals such as the large cats that came to North America around 36 million years ago, and had evolved into large lions , saber toothed cats, scimitar - toothed cats , cheetahs and jaguars .

With such a large source of food available the Black bear utilized fruits,insects , plants , carrion , and small prey . Climbing trees to avoid predators they quickly adapted and reproduced across North America. During the glacial period were ice changed much of the habitat pushing animals further south. Black bears being generalist had and advantage. At this time ( pliestocene ) many large animals disappeared , the saber tooth cats and, giant short faced bear, Pliestocene Lion , and their prey : mastodons , giant sloths, horses, mammoths, camels and the other species blinked out of existence.

For short part of evolutionary time the Black bear may have been the only bear in United States, and around 10,000 years ago to new predators arrived on the scene : grizzly bears, and humans. Coexisting with large dangerous predators in the parsed had given the Black bear all the necessary skills to adapt to existing alongside the grizzly bears that would feed on them grizzlies lived on the open habitat, while black bears stayed within the forests.

Black bear habitat

Living in forests they were well-equipped for climbing trees which is the first natural defense against a predator. Dark dense forest with little shrubbery or under story of vegetation has no value to bears only for shelter. Forest habitats with open tree canopies or patchy enough to let the sunshine through to the forest floor where a mass of green vegetation results. Bears for the most part are vegetarians these places act like a salad of to them. Large forest openings happen often because of natural forest fires , these fires clear the area's leading a few trees standing but create a rich soil from which are after a few years erupts dense greenery and a abundance of insect life.

Another excellent habitat for bears are river flood plains, as the spring flooding arrives, knocking over all the trees, and spreading silt into lower places leaving saturated areas where the bears feed on horsetails ,sedges, and other prime plants . Bird's nests, frogs, salamanders and fish holdup in these moist places . Bears will scavenge the carcasses of dead sheep and cows that are left out on the range.

Raising bed cubs

And tune cubs all the norm but three of four cubs are possible. A new born black bear is a little larger than the size of a mouse , they will live of the mother's milk during hibernation. Three of four months later they are the size of a house cat, ready to go outside, with long legs the awkward bear cubs approach life with adventure and boundless curiosity and playfulness. Growing up in the forests a mother and her cubs will climb trees when they are in danger unlike the grizzlies that will stand their ground this is believed because grizzlies in the past lived on the open plains where standing its ground if threatened was normal and became more aggressive, black bears involving in forests became less aggressive because of the tree climbing abilities, however a mother bear with cubs will attack if surprise in open terrain that has no tree cover.

Black bears stay with their mother for one of two years learning learning how to find food and learn how to act around other bears through observation and experimentation, the mother bear will discipline the cubs if they are experimenting with something dangerous.

Seasonal activities

The Black Bears' home range is a patchwork of various habitats for which over the season's food sources are different. They know in the tell every part of their territory. Pacific coastal bears in low elevation areas will leave their den as early as late February or March, the Rocky Mountain and boreal forests black bear leaves its den as late as April. During early spring the southern slopes make a good place for the bears to forage, any previous berries leftover from the winter and dead moose and deer the bear will scavenge on. Grasses and sedges will first start of along the streams and wetlands making these areas attractive feeding spots for the Black bear fruit early spring.

As summer enters more greenery blooms along creeks and rivers and into the wetlands become, excellent places , into late July and early August the first ripe berries arrive ; blueberries, raspberries and other berries, these are high-energy foods that the Black bear devotes much of their time to in the summer.

Fall is a critical time for the bear, many pounds of fat to me to be put on by hibernation , as the first frosts arrive the dwindling dairy crops makes the black bear look for other for food such as ; spawning fish where of these occur along coastal habitats a, elsewhere bears will turn to greenery and long river banks and creeks. They will wander large areas for gut piles or wounded animals left over by hunters . Big game hunting most likely helps the Black bear giving them reliable source of high-quality food in the last weeks before denning. Retiring in November for hibernation just before the snow starts to accumulate, the coastal bear and low land bears hibernates when the rains start in earnest .

Black bear facts:

Total length: 4.5 to 6 ft. ( 1.4 to 1.8 m )

Shoulder height : 3 to 3.5 ft. ( 0.9 to 1.1 m )

Tell length : 3 1/4 to 7 in. ( 8.3 to 18 cm )

Weight : 88 to 595 lbs. ( 40 to 270 kgs )

Life span : 20 years in the wild, 30 years in captivity.


Long shaggy coat of hair colors ranging from black to brown to honey. Has a short and stout body, with short powerful legs wide feet with curved black claws. The head is large with a straight profile. The eyes small and ears are small rounded and erect. The adult males of are about 20 percent heavier than the female.

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