It’s All About the Claws

We love bear claws! And no, we’re not talking about the popular pastry — we mean the strong, versatile tools bears use to dig, climb, scratch, and gather food in their surrounding environment.

Black bear claws can measure in at 2 inches long, with slightly curved foreclaws to facilitate climbing and digging. This is where we’d normally say “can you imagine if humans had 2-inch long claws?”, but current fashion trends have eliminated the need for imagination on that end. What humans don’t have, though, is the incredible strength that it takes to rip apart old logs while in search of high-protein grubs and insect larvae.

The claws of a black bear also serve an important purpose in territory establishment and defense. But violence is a last resort for bears — they first and foremost use their claws to avoid a fight. Black bears are solitary, save for mothers with cubs and mating pairs, and marking trees is a form of social communication for bears which indicates to others that the area is inhabited and in use.

Sure, we apes have opposable thumbs, but bears have nature’s Swiss army knives for nails!

Aaron Huelsman

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