American black bear

species of bear

The American black bear (Ursus americanus)[2] is North America's smallest and most common species of bear. 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.[1] In the past century, only 37 people have been killed by these animals.

American black bear
Temporal range: 2.6–0 Ma
Late PlioceneHolocene
American black bear in Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
U. americanus
Binomial name
Ursus americanus
Pallas, 1780

16, see text

American black bear range[1]
  Present-day range

Euarctos americanus

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. Black bears are omnivores (eating both meat and plants). They feed on fish, rodents, rabbits, insects, carrion, fruit, nuts, grass, leaves, honey, deer, and moose calves. Their predators are humans, grizzly bears, and american alligators, while wolves, coyotes, cougars, lynxes, foxes, birds of prey, and even other black bears are predators of black bear cubs.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Garshelis, D.L., Crider, D. & van Manen, F. (2008). "Ursus americanus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 27 January 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. "Shenandoah National Park – American Black Bear (U.S. National Park Service)". 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "BBC News – Hibernating bears studied in unprecedented detail". 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  4. "Yellowstone National Park – Denning and Hibernation Behavior (U.S. National Park Service)". 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2011.