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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, December 1, 2017

While not currently a Winter Olympics Gymnastics event, I vote for BLACK BEAR VERTICAL WALL ROCK CLIMBING to become one ASAP!.........One thing for Black Bears to be able to shimmy up a tree, using their sharpened paws to dig in and create "toe-holds",,,,,,,,,Another thing entirely to scale sheer vertical rock cliffs.....What caused this fascinating behaviour?........Some tasty berry bushes at the top of the mountain to feed on?..............Elk Calves up there for dinner?........Check out the attached video showing two Black Bears in Big Bend National Park in Texas "winning gold medals" for their MASTERY OF THE CLIFF!



Do you enjoy rock climbing? Now imagine trying to scale a rock face without thumbs … with claws instead of fingers … when you weigh 200 kilograms (440 pounds)!
This daring duo of rare Mexican black bears (Ursus americanus eremicus) were recently spotted scaling Santa Elena Canyon, part of Big Bend National Park in Texas.
We know bears are good climbers, but scaling cliffs isn’t something we’ve seen them do before. Unlike humans and other primates, bears don’t have opposable thumbs, so they can't grasp objects like we can. So how do they climb? Their saving grace is the curved shape of the front claws, which they use to catch the edge of an object (like a crack in a rock face, or the door handle of a passing car).
Hold up your hands, and tuck your thumbs forward. Now imagine climbing up a cliff-face using only your four fingertips. Those are some seriously strong claws! Challenging as it may be, for this mother and cub rock-climbing is a necessary task. The black bears of Big Bend spend most of their time in the mountains and foothills, where they find abundant food, water, shelter, and cooler temperatures. 

Black bears usually give birth in February, so we assume the cub in the video is a mere three-months old. Not bad for such a young climber!

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