of the Black Bear
much does an American black bear weigh?
Murie, the famous naturalist, once said, "A bear a long distance
from a scale always weighs more." The general public often misjudges
the weights of black bears. While they are large, they are not the 4,000-pound
beasts that some visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park describe.
can vary greatly depending on the age, health, and sex of the bear as
well as the season and the condition of the habitat. Seasonality is a
major factor pre-denning weight in the fall is considerably higher
than the weight of the bear when it emerges from hibernation in the spring.
American black bears exhibit sexual dimorphism, where males are
generally 33% larger than their female counterparts of the same age. American
black bears on the East Coast of North America are larger than those found
on the West Coast. Average weights are:
250 lbs. (range from 125 lbs.
to over 600 lbs.)
150 lbs. (range from 90 lbs. to over 300
is the record weight of an American black bear?
record weight for an American black bear is 880 pounds. This was the recorded
weight of a 10.75 year-old male bear shot in North Carolina in November
black bear was hit and killed by a car near Winnipeg Canada, in 2001.
The official recorded weight was 856.5 pounds, but it is estimated that
the live weight of this large male was more than 886 pounds. The driver
was not injured and there appeared to be little damage to the Mazda.
An 805-pound male American black bear was shot in Manitoba Canada, and
in Pennsylvania males fairly consistently reach the record weight of 800+
do American black bears compare in weight to the other species of bears?
black bears are neither the largest nor the smallest of the eight bear
species. Brown bears and polar bears, the largest land carnivores in the
world, far outweigh American black bears. The sun bears of Malaysia are
the smallest, weighing in at an average of 100 pounds. The Asiatic black
bear, giant panda, sloth bear, and spectacled bear all have average weights
similar to those of the American black bear. However, none of them have
the potential of growing as large they rarely exceed 300 pounds.
For more on the weights of these species, see Bears
of the World.
tall is an American black bear?
height of a bear is measured from the bottom of its paw, flat on the ground,
to the highest point of the shoulders. An adult male American black bear
will measure between 2½ and 3 feet tall. This is approximately the
same height as a Siberian tiger.
long is an American black bear?
length of a bear is measured from the tip of its nose to the tip of its
tail. An adult American black bear will measure between 4 and 6 feet in
length. While American black bears are approximately the same height as
Siberian tigers, they have very compact bodies and are not nearly as long
Siberian tigers measure up to 13 feet in length.