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However, both Arctodus and Tremarctos had survived several other ice ages.After these prehistoric ursids became extinct during the last glacial period 10,000 years ago, black bears were probably the only bear present in much of North America until the migration of brown bears to the rest of the continent.
Approximately 10% of the population of this subspecies have white or cream-colored coats due to a recessive gene and are called "kermodes" or "spirit bears".Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location.They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food.Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food.The American black bear is the world's most common bear species.It is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a least-concern species, due to its widespread distribution and a large population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined.
Along with the brown bear, it is one of only two of the eight modern bear species not considered globally threatened with extinction by the IUCN.
In the reports published since this date three species have produced young (hybrids in one case), ...
A black bear shot in autumn 1986 in Michigan was thought by some to be a black bear/grizzly bear hybrid, due to its unusually large size and its proportionately larger braincase and skull.
while the American black bears remained arboreal omnivores, like their Asian ancestors.
The black bear's generalist behavior allowed it to exploit a wider variety of foods and has been given as a reason why, of these three genera, it alone survived climate and vegetative changes through the last ice age while the other more specialized North American predators became extinct.
Throughout their range, habitats preferred by American black bears have a few shared characteristics.