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Taxonomic assessment of the black bear (Ursus americanus) in the eastern United States

Southwestern Naturalist

By:
, , , and
https://doi.org/10.2307/3672491

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Abstract

The subspecific status of the Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus) and Florida black bear (U. a. floridanus) were assessed using morphologic features to determine their distinctness in relation to one another and to the black bear (U. a. americanus). Forty-four dimensions were recorded from skulls of 125 male and 127 female adult (4.5 years or older) bears. Results showed skulls of U. a. luteolus, U. a. floridanus, and U. a. americanus to be similar in morphology. However, features of U. a. luteolus, and U. a. floridanus tended, in general, to be larger and shaped differently than those of U. a. americanus. Differences between measurements of U. a. luteolus and U. a. floridanus were less apparent than those between either of these taxa and U. a. americanus. For U. a. luteolus and U. a. floridanus, means of most characters differed only slightly, and ranges of all measurements overlapped to some degree. Yet, small numbers of characters that reflected molar tooth measurements or features relating to dentition, height of frontal region, and skull length and width appeared to correctly classify these taxa in most cases. Results were interpreted to support the subspecific recognition of U. a. luteolus, U. a. floridanus, and U. a. americanus.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Taxonomic assessment of the black bear (Ursus americanus) in the eastern United States
Series title:
Southwestern Naturalist
DOI:
10.2307/3672491
Volume:
47
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Publisher:
Southwestern Association of Naturalists
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
13 p.
First page:
335
Last page:
347