Ursus Americanus: the North American Black Bear

Topics: American Black Bear, Bear, Bears Pages: 4 (1349 words) Published: January 28, 2013
The North American Black Bear|
Miles Vandewater|

Few animals are as revered and feared as the North American Black Bear. A fur covered lumbering giant, it is easy to see why many enjoy observing black bears. Being a highly intelligent creature, bears are a curious animal unafraid of experimenting with new food sources. With man building, developing, and harvesting natural resources close to bear habitats encounters with man are inevitable. Humans need to realize that larger predators such as the bear are vital in woodland ecosystems. While black bears are not endangered at this point in time humans are destroying woodland areas at an alarming rate, evicting forest animals such as the bear. The American government can help the black bear by contributing more funds to wildlife programs. Through increased awareness, wild life education programs, and stricter pouching penalties mankind can ensure the Black Bears survival for generations to come. The black bear scientifically classified as Urus Americanus are typically a solitary animal and only come together at mating periods usually late June to early July. Bears are an omnivorous animal in that their diet consists of meat, fruit, nuts, and even field grass. On average an adult black bear will be four to six feet long with the male weighing around four hundred pounds and the female weighing on average two hundred pounds. The black bear is the smallest of the North American bears, their size and the curvature of claws make black bears better suited at climbing. Grizzly bears have straight claws and aren’t typically observed climbing. Bears will eat up to forty five pounds of food a day and even more in autumn to prepare for winter. The black bear doesn’t specifically hibernate; it actually goes into a deep sleep in which metabolism slows down. This mechanism allows the bear to bulk up before winter to ensure survival when food is not present. While bears have been...

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Cover page illustration, “The Gatekeeper” by Katherine Jo Tucker
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