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American Black Bear
Characteristics
Scientific Name:
Ursus americanus
Family Name:
Ursidae
Head & Body Size:
59-71 in. (150-180 cm)
Tail Size:
5 in. (12 cm)
Weight:
132-310 lb (60-140 kg)average, but known to exceed 500 lbs.
Color:
uniform black, brown, or cinnamon with a lighter colored muzzle. There is a rare white colored that has been observed.
Life Span:
32 years
Diet:
American black bears are omnivorous, but the majority of their diet is comprised of vegetation. Generally speaking, about 80% of their diet is comprised of grasses, herbs, berries, roots, fungus, fruits and nuts. Insects comprise another 10%, and the other 10% is human refuse. Where bears come into more contact with people, like around cities, garbage comprises a larger part of their diet. Black bears that live along the coast or near rivers often eat fish and crustaceans, as well as scavenging on marine mammal carcasses. In northern Canada, the bears there eat a lot of lemmings. In Alaska they eat moose calves and salmon. In the Adriondack park in New York State, they eat a lot of deer calves.
 
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American Black Bear

American Black Bear Snapshot
 
 
 
American Black Bear Picture Gallery
 
 
 
American Black Bear Description
  The American black bear is a medium-sized bear. The males are about 20-60 percent larger than the females. The largest black bear on record weighed 880 pounds. Its fur is course and short to medium in length with the exception of the muzzle and feet, which is shorter than the rest of the body. Like all bears, it is platigrade and has a very short, stubby tail. Its body is large and rounded out, with short, thick legs. Its claws are very long and not retracteable. The muzzle is broad and pointed, with 42 teeth. Its ears are heavily lined with fur, short, round and located near the sides of its head. Its sense of eyesight and hearing are relatively poor. Because it relies heavily on scent, its nose is like a dog's nose.  
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