American Black Bear

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American Black Bear
Temporal range: early Pleistocene[source?]– recent
Black bear large.jpg
American Black Bear
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
Species: U. americanus
Binomial name
Ursus americanus
Pallas, 1780
Map black bear 1.png

The American black bear (scientific name Ursus americanus[1]) is North America's smallest and most common species of bear. Black bears are omnivores (eating both meat and plants). Black bears usually live in forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human activity due to a lack of food. The American black bear is listed by the IUCN as Least Concern, because the species has a large global population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined.[2] In the past century, only 37 people have been killed by these animals.

American black bears usually hibernate during winter. During this time, the black bear's metabolism and heart rate both decrease in relation to one another.[3] In fact, during hibernation, an American black bear's heart can stop for twenty seconds.[3] The body temperature of black bears also decreases to 31 °C (88 °F) during hibernation.[4] When hibernation is over, the black bear's body temperature returns to normal.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Shenandoah National Park – American Black Bear (U.S. National Park Service)". nps.gov. 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 17 February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. Garshelis, D.L., Crider, D. & van Manen, F. (2008). Ursus americanus. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2008. Retrieved on 27 January 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "BBC News – Hibernating bears studied in unprecedented detail". bbc.co.uk. 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 17 February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. "Yellowstone National Park – Denning and Hibernation Behavior (U.S. National Park Service)". nps.gov. 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 17 February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)