Bears have an interesting reproductive strategy called delayed implantation. In NY, bears mate in June and July, but the fertilized egg does not develop in the female right away. In the fall, if the female has sufficient fat reserves, a chemical triggers the fertilized egg to attach to the uterus and begin to grow. Cubs are born only a few months later and are relatively small because their development time is so short.
|Black bear cub, Wayland NY (3/10)|
|FLCC students measure a cub's ear length (Wayland, NY 3/10)|
A final photo of the tragus is below. Note also that this cub has some real blonde hairs. Most likely, he will grow out of them, but they make an interesting pattern now!
|Black bear cub tragus (Canisteo, NY 3/11)|