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American black bear

(Ursus americanus)


Category: Mammals



This medium sized bear is the most common and widespread of all bear species. They generally prefer to live in the forest but these opportunistic omnivores will leave the forest in search of food, often ending up near or in human inhabited areas. They are more closely related to Asian black bears than to the other American bear species, brown bears and polar bears. Black bears are highly dexterous and possess great physical strength. Their average lifespan in the wild is about 18 years.



Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Ursidae
Genus - Ursus
Species - U. americanus

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Interesting Animal Facts

Wake me in 9 months…

There may be times when you are so tired you feel as if you could sleep for several days - but of course that is not possible without dying from dehydration. However, some mammals have such fine control over their metabolisms, they are capable of nodding off for days or even months, in a state called hibernation. This helps an animal survive during cold periods when food is scarce. A prime example is the alpine marmot who can hibernate for up to 9 months of the year: gathering food and adding about 50% more body weight (primarily fat) as summer ends, the alpine marmot seals itself in a deep burrow, heart rate slowing to five beats per minute, breathing as little as once per minute - emerging (far lighter!) in May, when food is once again available!

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