American black bear. By Scott palmeri |
American black bear. By Scott palmeri |

About American black bears.

Despite being called black bear, the color of this species ranges from black (blue-black) to brown, light brown and, in rare cases, white.

Despite their size and weight, black bears can easily climb trees.

They are extremely solitary animals that travel long distances every day.

Black bears do not hibernate the way other animals do. They spend the winter in a dormant state in caves, dens or sheltered places using the extra body fat they have stored up the rest of the year. They do not eat, drink, urinate or defecate, but they can wake up quickly and easily if they perceive a threat.

Black bears can run at speeds of up to 55 km/h (34 mph) and they are excellent swimmers that, for example, can cross a lake to reach an island.

They are peaceful animals that, unlike other species like the Grizzly bear, do not attack humans, not even to defend their offspring. They prefer to run away or climbing a tree.

American black bear females can give birth once every two years and have 2-6 cubs that live with them for 18 months.

This is the smallest bear species in North America, after the polar bear and the brown bear.

They have a finely developed sense of smell and they often stand upright on their hind legs to better identify smells in order to find food.

There are 16 subspecies of black bear.

One subspecies of black bear is the Kermode bear, that lives only in British Columbia, Canada. The interesting fact is that one in ten of these bears is completely white.

For native Americans these bears were sacred and supernatural animals. They performed long pre-hunting rituals to honor them.

Young American Black Bear, Ursus americanus, foraging lush green grass meadow. By Pi-Lens |
Young American Black Bear, Ursus americanus, foraging lush green grass meadow. By Pi-Lens |
American black bearLeast concern
Ursus americanus120 to 200 cm (47 to 79 in)
Ursidae41–250 kg (90–551 lb)
Carnivora21-33 years
Mammalia63-70 days
850,000-950,000 individualsMainly plants: grasses, fruits and nuts. But also carrion, insects, salmons, trout, crabs and seldom rodents or small deers. They love honey.
Forests, areas of shrubs, swamps, tundra and high mountain areas.From the north of Mexico to the north of Alaska.


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