Black Bear

Black Bear
Black Bear
Jeff Foott/DCI

Although black is the most common color of this bear, its color can range from light brown to dark brown. There is even a population of white Ursus americanus living on a remote island off the west coast of Canada.

A solitary, predominantly vegetarian creature, the black bear uses its keen sense of smell to search out fruit, nuts, berries, and roots.


However, this bear will also eat insects, honey, fish, and small mammals when the opportunity arises.

It is an excellent tree climber and despite its size regularly ascends to the treetops to eat.

From late fall until early spring, the black bear exists in a state of torpor.

Animal Facts

Name: Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

Family: Ursidae (Bears)

Range: Canada, United States, northern Mexico

Habitat: Forest and woodland

Diet: Roots, buds, shoots, fruits, nuts, berries, worms, grubs, and fish

Head and Body Length: 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 m)

Tail Length: 3.5 to 5 inches (9 to 12.5 cm)

Shoulder Height: 24 to 35 inches (60 to 90 cm)

Weight: 176 to 500 pounds (80 to 227 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating June to July, implantation delayed until October to November; gestation about 70 days, one to five cubs born; copulation to birth takes about 225 days

Description: Black or brown fur; pale muzzle; large, erect ears; small eyes; long ears; prehensile lip; small shoulder hump; massive body; short tail

Conservation Status: Not listed by the IUCN.