Introduction - American Black BearThe American Black Bear, that is one of just three species of bears that live in the United States, is a medium sized meat-eating mammal that is a close relative to the Asian Black Bear. The regions where it can commonly be found include the temperate rainforests of North America. One interesting fact about this bear is that despite its huge size and powerful body it is timid and easily frightened. More interesting information on the Black Bear is listed below including why you should never try to outrun one. This information is written for both kids and adults.
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General American Black Bear Facts
- Black Bears are solitary creatures with the exception of a protective mother bear watching over her cubs for two years after they are born.
- Black Bears are not always black. They are sometimes brown, silver or in rare circumstances white.
- Black Bears are not only good swimmers, but graceful swimmers as well. They enjoy being in the water and will often cross lakes, streams, and ponds in search of food.
- Black Bears have bodies that are designed to move quickly. If need be, they can run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. For this reason, humans that come into contact with a Black Bear should never run. If they do they risk setting off the bear's natural chase response and will be easily outrun.
- Black Bears have large heads and ears in proportion to their bodies. Their bodies are stocky with very strong legs, making them very powerful animals. They have sharp, curved claws that are used for tearing, breaking and climbing.
- The diet of Black Bears is a mixture of meat, fish and insects as well as grass, seeds, wild berries and roots all of which are plentiful in the temperate rainforest. They will also go after human food and trash if it is in close proximity to them.
- The Black Bears most acute sense is their sense of smell, which is better than any other animal on earth. They can smell prey and food from miles away and will travel great distances to get it.
Black Bear Hibernation Facts
- Winters in temperate rainforests can get quite cold. Snowfall during this season can also make food very hard to find. By eating enormous amounts of food in the warmer months, these bears are able to spend the winter in their dens hibernating and living off their body fat.
- Hibernation can last as long as 7 months in certain regions.
- During hibernation, the bear's metabolism and breathing rate slow down and blood flow is reduced.
- Black Bears hibernate in a den that can be anything from a pile of brush and leaves to a cave.
- The bears rely on their bodies for warmth and insulation. The main purpose of the den is for protection against predators for the bears and their cubs.
American Black Bear Reproduction Facts
- Females give birth to 2 or 3 cubs at a time, once every other year.
- At birth the cubs are blind, have little fur and are very small, weighing less than a pound each.
- Breeding season occurs in the spring which is also the season when newborn cubs leave the den for the first time.