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Black Bear

Ursus americanus

A black bear has startled a venomous cottonmouth snake in this Florida cypress swamp. The snake exposes its fangs in threat—but neither animal is likely to attack. It’s not worth the risk.

As this bear moves on to a safer meal, it will have a lot to choose from. Black bears eat almost anything, so they can survive in many landscapes—northern conifer forests, temperate woodlands and even here, in the warm swamps of the South. Unlike black bears in colder climates, this bear has no need to hibernate, so it is active in December.

American Museum of Natural History

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