Bears are extraordinary creatures, but did you know that they are also their own gynecologists?
Black bears display many incredible traits, physical and biological. Huge, powerful creatures, black bears are excellent climbers with teeth adapted for feeding on plants and animals.
As impressive as the Black Bear looks outwardly, it has a rather incredible trait when it comes to reproduction.
The reproduction success of bears is related to the abundance of fall foods and a high quality summer, with bears mating in June and July.
Female Black Bears usually reproduce at 4.5 years old, breeding every other year and producing between two and four cubs every litter. Cubs weigh less than a pound at birth and develop while suckling from the mother.
An incredible adaptation that these bears display is termed “delayed implantation.” An adult will carry a fertilized egg for months, waiting to develop onto a fetus when given some special, unknown signal. Practically, this means that the bears can actually time the birth of their own cubs.
This also means that if food is scarce and the mother hasn’t accumulated enough fat by the time she settles in to hibernate, then the egg will simply abort itself.
Some scientists view this as a natural answer to population control but it can also be seen as plain common sense and protection of an unborn cub. Using the information provided, the bear can cancel the pregnancy process before the fetus is even formed, thus saving it from a difficult birth and lack of nourishment.