127 Cinnamon Bear
URSUS AMERICANUS.--PALLAS. (VAR. CINNAMOMUM.--AUD. and BACH.) CINNAMON BEAR. [Black Bear (cinnamon phase)] PLATE CXXVII.--MALE and FEMALE. U. Magnitudine formaque U. Americani; supra saturate cinnamomeus, naso et pilis ungues vestientibus flavis.
CHARACTERS. Form and size of the common American black bear, of which it is a permanent variety. Colour, above dark cinnamon brown; nose and a fringe of hairs covering the claws, yellow. SYNONYME. CINNAMON BEAR of the fur traders. DESCRIPTION. Form and size of the American Black Bear (Ursus Americanus). Hair, softer and more dense than that of the Black Bear, and under fur finer and longer. COLOUR. Nose, ochreous yellow; there is an angular yellow spot above each eye; margins of ears, and a narrow band of hairs around all the feet, concealing the claws, ochreous yellow; there is a line of brownish-yellow from the shoulder down and along the front leg; sides and hips, dark yellow; a line around the cheeks from the ear downwards, and a spot and streak between the cars, a little darker yellow; other parts of the body, cinnamon brown. DIMENSIONS. Feet. Inches. Length from point of nose to root of tail, . . 5 8 Height at shoulder, . . . . . . . . . . 3 1 Length of tail, . . . . . . . . . . . 0 1 1/2 The Cinnamon Bear, like the common Black Bear, varies greatly in size. The dimensions above are unusually large. HABITS. LEWIS and CLARK (Expedition, vol. ii. p. 303) mention that one of their men purchased a Bear-skin "of a uniform pale reddish-brown colour, which the Indians (Chopunnish) distinguished from every variety of the Grizzly Bear: this induced those travellers to inquire more particularly into the opinions held by the Indians as to the several species of Bears, and they exhibited all the Bear-skins they had killed in that neighbourhood, which the Indians immediately classed into two species--the Grizzly Bear, including all those with the extremities of the hair of a white or frosty colour, under the name of hohhost, and the black skins, those which were black with a number of entire white hairs intermixed, or white with a white breast, uniform bay, brown, and light reddish-brown, were ranged under the name of Yackkah. These we refer to the Cinnamon and other varieties of the Black Bear. LEWIS and CLARK, however, appear not to have considered these Bear-skins as belonging to the Black Bear, owing merely to the differences in colour, for they say the common Black Bear is "indeed unknown in that country." Their account of the fur of the brown Bears above mentioned corresponds, however, with the description of the Cinnamon Bear, they remarking that the skins of the Bears in that region differ from those of the Black Bears "in having much finer, thicker, and longer hair, with a greater proportion of fur mixed with it." LEWIS and CLARK considered that the Black Bear was always black, whereas it varies very considerably: they say nothing in regard to the sizes of the various coloured Bears above alluded to. The Cinnamon Bear has long been known to trappers and fur traders, and its skin is much more valuable than that of the Black Bear. We have seen in the warehouse of Messrs. P. CHOUTEAU, JR., and Co., in New York, some beautiful skins of this animal, and find that those gentlemen receive some every year from their posts near the Rocky Mountains. Being a permanent variety, and having longer and finer hair than the common Black Bear, we might possibly have elevated it into a distinct species but that in every other particular it closely resembles the latter animal. By the Indians (according to Sir JOHN RICHARDSON) it is considered to be an accidental variety of the Black Bear. The Cinnamon Bear, so far as we have been able to ascertain, is never found near the sea coast, nor even west of the Ohio valley until you approach the Rocky Mountain chain, and it is apparently quite a northerly animal. Of the habits of this variety we have no accounts, but we may suppose that they do not differ in any essential particulars from those of the Black Bear, which we shall shortly describe. Our figures were made from living specimens in the gardens of the Zoological Society of London, which manifested all the restlessness usually exhibited by this genus when in a state of captivity. We are inclined to consider Sir JOHN RICHARDSON's "Barren-ground Bear" a variety of the common black Bear,--perhaps our present animal; but not having seen any specimen of his Ursus Arctos ? Americanus, we do not feel justified in expressing more than an opinion on this subject, which indeed is founded on the description of the colour of the Barren-ground Bear as given by RICHARDSON himself (see Fauna Boreali Americana, pp. 21, 22). GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. Sparingly found in the fur countries west and north of the Missouri, extending to the barren grounds of the northwest. GENERAL REMARKS. We have given a figure of this permanent variety of Bear, not because we felt disposed to elevate it into a species, but because it is a variety so frequently found in the collections of skins made by our fur companies, and which is so often noticed by travellers in the northwest, that errors might be made by future naturalists were we to omit mentioning it and placing it where it should be. Whilst we are not disposed to figure an occasional variety in any species, and have throughout our work rather declined doing this, yet we conceive that figures of the permanent varieties may be useful to future observers in order to awaken inquiry and enable them to decide whether they are true species or mere varieties. We have done this in the case of some species of squirrel, the otter, and the wolves, as well as this variety of Bear. The yellow Bear of Carolina no doubt belongs to this variety, and probably the brown Barren-ground Bear of RICHARDSON may be referred to the same species, as all Bears vary very greatly in size.