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You can reach this milestone by completing the quiz What's Your Perfect Nursing Career Fit? You can reach this milestone by starting a group that is one of the top 100 most active groups. You can reach this milestone by being one of the top 100 users on the Reputation Leaderboard. GenusUrsus (1)With a population double that of all other bear species combined, the American black bear is by far the most common member of the bear family (Ursidae) (1) (2). American black bear biologyWhile the American black bear typically forages during the night, it is potentially active at any time (4). While breeding occurs between June and July, the fertilised eggs undergo delayed development and do not implant in the femalea€™s womb until November.
In the northern parts of its range, the American black bear undergoes an annual period of hibernation, during which it lives on stored fat, and reduces its body temperature and heart-rate to conserve energy (2) (4). American black bear habitatWhile the American black bear principally occurs in coniferous and deciduous forest and woodland, it is highly adaptable and can be found in dry Mexican scrub forest, Louisiana swamps, Alaskan temperate rainforest, and Labrador tundra (1) (2) (5). American black bear statusClassified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3). American black bear threatsHistorically, the American black bear has suffered from heavy persecution due to fear and to prevent loss of livestock and crops, as well as from hunting for sport, meat and fur.
The more threatened populations of American black bear have received particular conservation attention. International trade in this species is also controlled, although not because of a direct threat to this species, but in order to prevent false trade of endangered Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) parts. AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only.
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends. Thick, windproof or waterproof coatsMany Antarctic animals have either a windproof or waterproof coat. Emperor penguins are highly adapted to cold environments – and as the only animal that breeds during the Antarctic winter, they need to be.
Behavioural adaptationsAs with the physical adaptations, emperor penguins have unique behavioural adaptations that enable them to survive the harsh winter.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Darwin's finches are an excellent example of the way in which species' gene pools have adapted in order for long term survival via their offspring. Polymorphism pertains to the existence of two distinctly different groups of a species that still belong to the same species. Industrial melanism occurs in a species called the peppered moth, where the occurrence has become of more frequent occurrence since the beginning of the industrial age. Pollution, which is more common in today's world since the industrial age causes a change in environment, particularly in the 1800's when soot would collect on the sides of buildings from chimneys and industries and make them a darker colour. The resultant effect was that the peppered moth, which had a light appearance was more visible against the darker backgrounds of sooty buildings. This meant that predators of the peppered moth could find them more easily as they are more visible against a dark background. Due to mutations, a new strain of peppered moth came to existence, where their phenotype was darker than that of the white peppered moth.


This meant that these new, darker peppered moths were once again harder to track down by their prey in environments where industry has taken its toll.
In this instance, natural selection would favour the darker moths in polluted environments and the whiter moths in the lesser polluted environments due to their ability to merge in with their environmental colours and lessen the chances of them being prone to a predator. Consider this argument of natural selection in the case of sickle cell trait, a genetic defect common in Africa.
Sickle cell trait is a situation that occurs in the presence of a recessive allele coding for haemoglobin, a substance in the blood responsible for the transport of gases like oxygen.
The above occurrences in the case of a recessive allele result in structural defects of red blood cells, severely reducing the organisms capacity to uptake oxygen.
It was pointed out that in Africa, there is a high frequency of this mutation, where cases of malaria were high. A substantiated link was made noting those who suffer sickle cell trait or anaemia were immune to the effects of malaria.
This is how science has understood natural selection since the first studies involving Darwin. Despite its common name, the black bear exhibits considerable variation in colouration, both among individuals from a single litter, and between populations from separate geographical regions (2) (4). Feeding is opportunistic, with a wide variety of foods taken according to location and season (2). Thereafter they undergo a rapid ten week development, with a litter of up to six cubs being born around January (2).
In the warmer southern parts of its range, this species may hibernate for much shorter periods or remain active all year round, although pregnant females always create a den in which to spend the winter, give birth and nurse the cubs. In addition, the ongoing spread of urban development and roads has claimed many parts of this speciesa€™ habitat (1) (4). The establishment of protected areas throughout this speciesa€™ range has helped to protect it to some degree from habitat loss. In Mexico, where this species is considered to be nationally endangered, all hunting is illegal, and large areas of suitable habitat have been established as protected areas (1). These parts, predominantly gall bladders sold to Asian markets for use in traditional medicine, are frequently passed off as having come from American black bears (1) (2) (4). Animals survive in these harsh conditions by reducing the percentage of body heat that is lost to the environment. The Darwin's Finches diagram below illustrates the way the finch has adapted to take advantage of feeding in different ecological niche's. For example, the finches who eat grubs have a thin extended beak to poke into holes in the ground and extract the grubs. Alleles for these organisms over time are governed by the theory of natural selection, and over this time the genetic differences between groups in different environments soon become apparent, as in the case of industrial melanism. The following argument elaborates the basis of principles involved in natural selection as far as industrial melanism is concerned. The presence of the allele is either partially expressed recessively (sickle cell), or fully expressed by a complete recessive expression which results in full blown anaemia.
Although sickle cell trait or anaemia are not advantageous characteristics on their own, they prove to be advantageous in areas where malaria proves to be a greater threat to preserving the genome (i.e. In the 21st century, humans selectively breed species to create hybrid species possessing the best genes of both parents via a process known as selective breeding.
While most populations in the west of the American black beara€™s range have black fur, in the east, many populations have lighter cinnamon or yellow-brown coats.
In some parts of this speciesa€™ range, as much as 95 percent of the diet may consist of plant-based foods, such as roots, buds, berries, nuts and fruits (5).


Despite being weaned at six to eight months old, the cubs remain with the mother for a further 9 months, spending a second winter in hibernation together, before separating to avoid male aggression during the breeding season (2) (4). Fortunately, the American black beara€™s highly adaptable nature and tolerance of humans, has allowed it to exploit human food sources and to withstand the degradation and fragmentation of its habitat (1) (2). For example, in 2006, the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement led to the establishment of a large system of protected areas, in coastal temperate rainforest. The Louisiana black bear has also had the remaining areas of its fragmented habitat protected, and is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This can be by physical means (generally evolved over many generations) or patterns of behaviour. Not only does this share body warmth, but it also shelters many of the penguins from the effects of the wind. Finches who eat buds and fruit would be less successful at doing this, while their claw like beaks can grind down their food and thus give them a selective advantage in circumstances where buds are the only real food source for finches.
In addition, some populations found along the pacific coast have grey-blue fur, while in British Colombia, Canada, around ten percent of the population have an entirely white coat (2) (5).
Animals may also be taken, particularly by American black bear populations found in Labrador, which hunt small mammals and caribou (2). Reproductive maturity is reached at around four to five years in females and a year later in males, while the lifespan is usually 25 years (2) (4). Habitat restoration work and public education programs are being implemented by a coalition of numerous state and federal agencies, conservation groups, forestry and agricultural industries, and private landowners (1). In some animals this is even further refined, with the animals selectively able to reduce blood flow to the blubber layers. By alternating which penguins are exposed to the wind, this benefit is shared equally amongst the group. It has been suggested that the variability in coat colouration may be related to habitat, with lighter coloured bears occurring in open habitats. Due to the proximity of human settlements to many parts of this speciesa€™ range, as well as increasing recreational use of its habitat, the American black bear has adapted to exploit a variety of human-related foods. It may also serve a purpose in mimicking brown bears (Ursus arctos) that compete and sometimes prey upon this species (2). These include refuse, birdseed, agricultural products and honey from apiaries (1) Despite this beara€™s typically slow-moving, lumbering gait, it can move at great speed when necessary, and is capable of climbing trees and swimming (4). Nevertheless, some smaller, isolated populations are at risk of extirpation, for example the Louisiana black bear subspecies (Ursus americanus luteolus) and the Florida black bear(Ursus americanus floridanus). Blubber layers can also be used as an energy reserve, for example male elephant seals can live off their fat reserves during summer. Despite some similarities between the American black bear and the brown bear, this species can readily be identified by its head profile, which slopes in a roughly straight line from the brow to the end of the snout.
In addition, it lacks a prominent shoulder hump, and has short claws, well suited for climbing (2) (5). Males on Long Island, off south-western Washington, range over areas of around 5 square kilometres, while males found in the tundra of the Ungava Peninsula, Canada range over areas of up to 1,000 square kilometres (4). While home ranges may overlap, this species is generally solitary, and at certain times of the year may be territorial. Congregations do occur around abundant food sources, at which time dominance hierarchies form (4).



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