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Black Bear

Ursus Americanus

Donor: Doug Stellick

This skull is from a medium sized bear native to North America. They can be found from northern Minnesota and Wisconsin to as far north as Alaska. Their range also stretches from coast to coast as you can find them from Oregon all the way to Maine. Surprisingly, they can also be found as far south as Mexico. They tend to live in thick woodlands and mountains where there is plenty for them to eat. Bears, like humans are omnivores and will eat all edible vegetation and meat, even carrion. These bears usually grow to be about 250 lbs and as long as 4.5 feet. These are not the grizzlies that one would see portrayed in a movie, but can be just as dangerous when provoked.

As seen on the skull, their teeth have a similar arrangement to humans. Their canines may
be much larger, but they have the large back molars for crushing leaves as we do for our
own vegetable consumption. The front teeth also have the same function as they are used for
biting through meat as we do when we eat a steak or hamburger. The Sagittarius crest (the large structure on the top of the skull) on the bear is especially large. This crest is the attachment point for the large jaw muscles that allow it to have such tremendous jaw strength.

science/display-cases/skull-case/blackbear.txt · Last modified: 2018/07/30 17:39 (external edit)