The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most distributed bear species. American black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying depending on season and location, they live in forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food; the American black bear is the world's most common bear species. It is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a least-concern species, due to its widespread distribution and a large population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined. Along with the brown bear, it is one of only two of the eight modern bear species not considered by the IUCN to be globally threatened with extinction. Despite living in North America, American black bears are not related to brown bears and polar bears. American and Asian black bears are considered sister taxa and are more related to each other than to the other modern species of bears.
According to recent studies, the sun bear is a recent split from this lineage. A small primitive bear called Ursus abstrusus is the oldest known North American fossil member of the genus Ursus, dated to 4.95 mya. This suggests that U. abstrusus may be the direct ancestor of the American black bear, which evolved in North America. Although Wolverton and Lyman still consider U. vitabilis an "apparent precursor to modern black bears", it has been placed within U. americanus. The ancestors of American black bears and Asian black bears diverged from sun bears 4.58 mya. The American black bear split from the Asian black bear 4.08 mya. The earliest American black bear fossils, which were located in Port Kennedy, Pennsylvania resemble the Asian species, though specimens grew to sizes comparable to grizzly bears. From the Holocene to the present, American black bears seem to have shrunk in size, but this has been disputed because of problems with dating these fossil specimens; the American black bear lived during the same period as the giant and lesser short-faced bears and the Florida spectacled bear.
These tremarctine bears evolved from bears -- 8 ma. The giant and lesser short-faced bears are thought to have been carnivorous and the Florida spectacled bear more herbivorous, while the American black bears remained arboreal omnivores, like their Asian ancestors; the American black bear's generalist behavior allowed it to exploit a wider variety of foods and has been given as a reason why, of these three genera, it alone survived climate and vegetative changes through the last Ice Age while the other, more specialized North American predators became extinct. However, both Arctodus and Tremarctos had survived several previous ice ages. After these prehistoric ursids became extinct during the last glacial period 10,000 years ago, American black bears were the only bear present in much of North America until the migration of brown bears to the rest of the continent. American black bears are reproductively compatible with several other bear species and have produced hybrid offspring. According to Jack Hanna's Monkeys on the Interstate, a bear captured in Sanford, was thought to have been the offspring of an escaped female Asian black bear and a male American black bear.
In 1859, an American black bear and a Eurasian brown bear were bred together in the London Zoological Gardens, but the three cubs that were born died before they reached maturity. In The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, Charles Darwin noted: In the nine-year Report it is stated that the bears had been seen in the zoological gardens to couple but to 1848 most had conceived. In the reports published since this date three species have produced young... A bear shot in autumn 1986 in Michigan was thought by some to be an American black bear/grizzly bear hybrid, due to its unusually large size and its proportionately larger brain case and skull. DNA testing was unable to determine whether it was a grizzly bear. Listed alphabetically according to subspecific name: Historically, American black bears occupied the majority of North America's forested regions. Today, they are limited to sparsely settled, forested areas. American black bears inhabit much of their original Canadian range, though they occur in the southern farmlands of Alberta and Manitoba.
The total Canadian black bear population is between 396,000 and 476,000, based on surveys taken in the mid-1990s in seven Canadian provinces, though this estimate excludes American black bear populations in New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. All provinces indicated stable populations of American black bears over the last decade; the current range of American black bears in the United States is constant throughout most of the northeast and within the Appalachian Mountains continuously from Maine to northern Georgia, the northern Midwest, the Rocky Mountain region, the West Coast and Alaska. However, it becomes fragmented or absent in other regions. Despite this, American black bears in those areas seem to have expanded their range during the last decade, such as with recent sightings in Ohio and southern Indiana, though these do not yet represent stable breeding populations. Sightin
Maria “Masha” Polinsky is an American linguist specializing in theoretical syntax. Recurrent themes in her syntactic research include long-distance dependencies, control/raising and scope. Polinsky is a strong advocate of a micro-typological approach to syntax, she has done extensive primary work on Chukchi, several Austronesian languages, Mayan languages and languages of the Caucasus. Polinsky's research focuses on the relationship between syntax and information structure and right dislocation, more on syntax-prosody interface. Polinsky has been a pioneer of heritage language study and has played an active role in introducing heritage languages into modern linguistic theory, her research has explored the ways in which heritage speakers are different from other speakers and learners, the consequences of these differences for our understanding of language learning. She has been an active practitioner of experimental work on understudied languages, in the fieldwork setting. Polinsky was born in Russia.
She received a B. A. in philology from Moscow University in 1979, an M. A. in 1983 and a Ph. D. in 1986 in linguistics from the Institute for Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Her dissertation examined the structure of antipassives in several ergative languages, she joined the University of Southern California as an Andrew Mellon Fellow in 1989, becoming an assistant professor in 1991 and an associate professor in 1995. She joined UC San Diego as an associate professor in 1997 serving there as full professor and chair of the Department of Linguistics. In 2001 she founded the Heritage Language Program at that department. From 2006 to 2015 she was a professor and Director of the Language Science Lab at Harvard University. In 2015 she took a position as professor in the Department of Linguistics and an Associate Director of the Maryland Language Science Center at the University of Maryland. At Maryland, she established a research field station in Guatemala She has been chosen as a member of the Linguistic Society of America's Fellows for 2016, for "distinguished contributions to the discipline".
Polinsky has been a visiting professor at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. She has served as associate editor of the journals Language and Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, is on the editorial boards of the Heritage Language Journal, Linguistic Discovery, Linguistics. Since 2007 she has been the director of the annual Heritage Language Research Institute. In 2015 she was a Forum Lecturer at the LSA Linguistic Summer Institute. M. Polinsky. 2018. "Heritage Languages and Their Speakers". Cambridge Studies in Linguistics. M. Polinsky. 2016. "Deconstructing Ergativity: Two Types of Ergative Languages and Their Features," Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax. M. Polinsky and O. Kagan. 2007. “Heritage languages: In the'wild' and in the classroom,” Language and Linguistics Compass 1: 368–395. M. Polinsky. 2006. “Incomplete acquisition: American Russian,” Journal of Slavic Linguistics. M. Polinsky, E. Potsdam. 2002. “Backward control,” Linguistic Inquiry. M. Polinsky, E. Potsdam.
2001. "Long-distance agreement and topic in Tsez," Natural Linguistic Theory. B. Comrie, G. Stone and M. Polinsky. 1996. The Russian language in the twentieth century. Oxford University Press. M. Polinsky. 1995. American Russian: Language loss meets language acquisition, in Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics. B. Comrie and M. Polinsky, 1993. Causatives and transitivity. John Benjamins. Harvard web page Video interview on Heritage Languages Video interview on Cognitive Advantages of Bilingualism University of Maryland Linguistics Faculty Page
Della M. Newman is an American businesswoman who served as the United States Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa from 1989 to 1992. Newman chaired George H. W. Bush’s campaign in Washington state. At the time of her appointment, she was a realty owner and headed the Association of Washington Business, the state's main business lobbying group. Despite never having been to New Zealand, “Newman felt she was asked to fill the ambassador's post because of her party activism and because of similarities between New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest. ‘New Zealand has a similar climate, they speak English and they are on the Pacific Rim,' she said.” Senator Paul Sarbanes criticized President Bush for his unusually high percentage of political appointees to ambassadorships. According to the Los Angeles Times: Bush has announced 42 ambassadorial appointments, of which only 14--one-third of the total--have gone to career diplomats. Of the rest, 21 are political, including several persons who had contributed more than $100,000 to Bush’s campaign coffers.
Newman’s appointment was one of three put on hold because they “were judged to be unqualified by the American Academy of Diplomacy.” Cited was the fact that not only was she the State Chair of his campaign, but that her husband was a major contributor