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American black bear

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American black bear
Temporal range: 2.6–0Ma
Late PlioceneHolocene
American black bear in Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park
Conservation status
Scientific classification
U. americanus
Binomial name
Ursus americanus
Pallas, 1780

16, see text

American black bear range[1]

     Present-day range      Extirpated


Euarctos americanus

The American black bear (Ursus americanus)[2] is North America's smallest and most common species of bear. Black bears are omnivores (eating both meat and plants). 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 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. They are omnivores. Black bears eat fish, rodents, rabbits, carrion, fruit, nuts, grasses, deer and moose calves.