Socially learned foraging behaviour in wild black bears, Ursus americanus

To date, research on social learning has been limited mainly to only a few taxa in captive or seminatural settings. We undertook a quantitative study of social learning in free-ranging black bears at Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, U.S.A. from 1995 to 2006. We tested the hypothesis that food-conditioned foraging behaviour (foraging on human food […]

Seasonal variation in stereotypic pacing in an American black bear Ursus americanus

The behaviour of a male American black bear Ursus americanus was observed for over 2400 h across all seasons of the year. Stereotypic pacing was most frequent, oriented away from the exhibit, and performed mainly after feeding during the period May-July; from August-November pacing was oriented towards the exhibit and performed mainly around feeding time. […]

Ursus americanus

species monograph

Social play in the American Black Bear- Its similarity to canid social play and an examination of its identifying characteristics

Bears evolved from a canid stock at quite a recent date (early Miocene). Despite this recent origin, bears show substantial morphological, physiological, and ecological differences when compared to modern day canids. However, the display behaviors of Canidae and Ursidae have remained remarkably similar. In this paper, the motor patterns of black bear social play are […]

Concept formation in American black bears, Ursus americanus

Despite their large relative brain size, bears have been neglected in studies of comparative cognition in comparison to their fellow carnivores, the social canines and pinnipeds. Here, three captive adult American black bears were presented with a series of natural concept discrimination tasks on a touchscreen computer, in which the discriminations varied in degree of […]

Salmon Fishing by Bears and the Dawn of Cooperative Predation

Although bears are an epitome of solitary predation, black (Ursus americanus) and brown bears (U. arctos) occasionally act in pairs to capture salmon (Onchorynchousspp.). I sought to identify conditions that promote pairing and how this relates to optimal foraging. This study on Alaskan black bears assessed whether each mode of fishing (solo vs. paired) occurs […]

A work‐for‐food enrichment program increases exploration and decreases stereotypies in four species of bears

Zoo‐housed bears are prone to exhibiting stereotypic behaviors, generally considered indicators of negative welfare. We explored the effects of a variable‐time feeding enrichment schedule on behavioral indicators of welfare in four bear species at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. We distributed the diets of eight bears in one of five enrichment items, for two consecutive days each, […]