scientific literacy

Franco Abbatessa


Species Report


We all know the cute, cuddly, and fluffy animal that is always seen in kids movies or even some shows with a height of 2-3 feet at the shoulders and a length of 4-7 feet from there nose to tip of their tail. The males have a weight between 150-300 pounds if they are exceptionally large males they are between 500-600 pounds.  The animal that I choose is the Black Bear or Urus Americanus. The American black bear is a medium sized bear native to North America, but also has some species in Asia and Korea. It is the smallest of the bear species.     The black bear is the Animal kingdom. They have a very wide spread family that includes the brown bear, polar bear, giant panda, sloth bear, spectacled bear, and the cave bear.  Black bears are Native in Maine but they are starting to be introduced into new places, so they can be safe and not have to worry about them dying off because there are only 22,000 bears which is one of the most prosperous black bear populations.  In Maine they are talking about how the Black bears have come into human contact a lot more lately. It’s because they have gone through the trashs that we put out to get more food. So Maine has implanted some regulations to make sure that you take care of solid waste and don’t leave anything uncovered or else they will find the food. They are hunters and gatherers they can track food easily and get what they want due to there size. Some threats are that they are hunted on the occasion not that often because Maine has a specific season for hunting certain animals at certain seasons. A physical description of a Black Bear is a shaggy black furred and large with a short tail and the body and legs are short with a broad head and rounded ears.  The habitat that they like to live in are primarily forested areas with a lot ground vegetation, but the northern black bears can be found in the cold areas and fields and meadows. For Maine black bears the majority of them live in the northern parts of Maine almost never will they ever be in southern parts of Maine. The sources of food vary based upon where they live but black bears live a predominantly grasses, roots, berries, and insects. They also do eat fish and mammals, and what’s kind of funny is now they’ve developed a taste for human foods and garbage.  Based on the Black bears diet they help the ecosystems because of their effects on insects and fruits populations. Whenever they eat plants some plants that they help disperse the seeds of the plants they eat and consume large numbers of colonial insects and moth larvae. They can kill small and large mammals such as rabbits and deer which other organisms can feed off of after they kill them.  For the way that they mate they will spend days or months with a female bear before actually mating. The typical mating season for black bears is in June and July.  The average female produces cubs every two years. What months they mate in depends on where they live.  A female can have up to five cubs every 2 years. The females give birth to two or three blind, helpless cubs in the mid-winter and nurse them in the den until spring, when all are looking for food the cubs will stay with the very protective and aggressive mother for two years.  The way that humans interact with this animal is that they’re scared or they try to hunt it but the actual animal wants nothing to do with us they are normally shy, and retiring animals they don’t really have a desire to interact with humans. Black bears almost never attack humans they usually make fake charges, making noises, and swatting at the ground. The scientific paper I wrote is to be an informant for people on black bears more importantly Maine black bears and how they play a role in Maine. My paper found that the Maine black bear is living a pretty good life it’s not really bothered where they live because it’s very north where there is mostly woods and not really people. The only time that the bears are in trouble is when they wonder into civilization and when it’s hunting season. Most people don’t know that black bears have short claws that allow them to climbs trees.  Most black bears do not have the large hump that grizzly bears have. Urus Americanus isn’t just black it has many color varieties.   This is my scientific report on Urus Americanus or black bears more specifically the Maine black bear.


Website: April 4,2019

This website will help me figure out how my animal is classified. It will also be able to help me find out the specifics behind the black bear.


Book: Macdonald D, Year of publication, The Encyclopedia Of Mammals, Place of publication. Pgs 94-95.

This source is reliable because it will give me all the background knowledge I need to know about black bears. It will help me know all the height, weight, habitat, and all the basic things I need to know about them.


Journal:  Loosen AE, Morehouse AT, Boyce MS. 2019. Land tenure shapes black bear density and abundance on a multi-use landscape. Ecology and Evolution. 9(1):73-89


This article is reliable because it shows how the capturing of black bears affects the wildlife and the habitats they live in. It could help me talk about how the killing or taking of the bears affects the other organisms.


Magazine:  Linskey A. 2013. A junk-food ban for bears. Bloomberg Businessweek: 1.


This source is reliable because it actually talks about the problems with Maine black bears in Maine and if they should do something about it. They talk about the problems with there diet living in the Maine community.


Other two sources:    Seger RL, Servello FA, Cross RA, Keisler DH. Body mass and mast abundance influence foraging ecology of the american black bear (Ursus americanus) in Maine. Can J Zool 2013;91(7):512-22


It is a reliable source because it can help answer some questions about the general questions I want to answer for my animal. Like the hibernation aspect and also the food they eat and how they interact with other organisms.


Mahoney SP, Virgl JA, Mawhinney K. 2001. Potential mechanisms of phenotypic divergence in body size between newfoundland and mainland black bear populations. Can J Zool 79(9):1650-60.

This is a good source because it can tell me about the mating cycle and all the stuff about the offspring. It can also help me compare them to the females and all that stuff.


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