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717 views on May 17, 2011
The American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) also known as the North American black bear is the most common bear species native to North America. It lives throughout much of the continent, from northern Alaska south into Mexico and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This includes 41 of the 50 U.S. states, all Canadian provinces except Prince Edward Island, and portions of northern Mexico.
The adult has small eyes, rounded ears, a long snout, a large body, and a short tail. It has an excellent sense of smell. Though they generally have shaggy black hair, the coat can vary in color from white through chocolate-brown, cinnamon-brown, and blonde (found mostly west of the Mississippi River), to black in the east (the same is generally true in Canada, the border being between Manitoba and Ontario). They occasionally have a slight V-shaped white chest blaze.
Though relatively less powerful than a grizzly bear, black bears are still enormously powerful. When necessary, they can run at speeds up to 48 km/h (30 mi/h) and are good swimmers.
This cub was photographed in Bear Country USA, Rapid City, South Dakota.