The North American continent is home to an incredible variety of animals! This collection examines some of the most popular.

This collection of worksheets offer short reading passages about prominent North American wildlife, including moose, mountain lions, wolves, multiple species of bears, and more. Students will learn about the habitats, diets, and distinguishing characteristics of each animal, and will have the opportunity to answer questions about them. Two different answer sheets-one multiple choice and one short answer-accompany each passage. Answer keys have been provided for each sheet.

Wild animals are dangerous, but most want nothing to do with humans. If you see an animal in the wild, leave it alone.

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Black Bears

The most populous bear in North America is the black bear. Black bears can be found in nearly every state in the United States, most Canadian provinces and even some areas of Mexico.

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Black Bears - Multiple Choice Questions

Even though their name is black bear, these bears can have different coat colors. In addition to an all-black coat, there are cinnamon, blonde and chocolate brown black bears.

Short Answer Questions

Black bears hibernate during the winter months. During the summer and fall they eat enough food to last through the winter.

Mountain Lions - Reading Passage

Africa is known for its Big Cats like the lion, leopard and cheetah and the major wild feline of Asia is the tiger.

Mountain Lions - Multiple Choice Questions

Mountain lions are two to two and a half feet tall at the shoulder and range in length from five to eight feet.

Short Answer Questions

The mountain lion is built to capture prey. This carnivore has a powerful jaw for gripping prey as well as a strong neck and sturdy legs for running.

Moose - Reading Passage

The largest member of the deer family, an adult male North American moose stands up to seven feet tall at the shoulder and weighs 850 to a whopping 1600 pounds.

Multiple Choice Questions

Besides their large size, moose have unique antlers. While deer have branchlike antlers, moose have palmate antlers.

Short Answer Questions

Moose generally have a dark brown coat of fur. Unlike their cousins the whitetail deer, moose live a solitary life and do not form herds.

Bison - Reading Passage

The North American bison, also called the American buffalo, is a symbol of the American West in the mid-1800s.

Multiple Choice Questions

Bison are large herbivores that feed on grasses and sedges. Adult bison are large animals, standing over six feet tall at the shoulders and can be over eleven feet in length. A mature male buffalo can weigh over 2,000 pounds.

Short Answer Questions

An interesting behavior of bison is that they enjoy wallowing. This means that they roll themselves in dust or mud.

Wolves - Reading Passage

Although wolves were once common throughout the United States, North American wolves now live mostly in the uninhabited portions of Canada and Alaska.

Multiple Choice Questions

Wolves are powerful animals that cover miles of territory at a trot of about 6 miles per hour. Their speed can increase to 40 miles per hour when chasing prey.

Short Answer Questions

Wolves also have large paws that grip slippery surfaces well. There is even webbing between their toes that gives wolves better traction in the snow.


The wolverine is a rare animal in the United States because it has lost its habitat.

Multiple Choice Questions

Wolverines are the largest member of the weasel family but look like a small bear. Other names for the wolverine include carcajou, skunk bear, and quickhatch.

Short Answer Questions

Wolverines have good hearing but poor eyesight. Wolverines have an excellent sense of smell that is used to locate prey and carrion.

Coyotes - Reading Passage

The coyote is an adaptable animal and lives successfully throughout North America and as far south as Panama in Central America.

Multiple Choice Questions

Coyotes have a variety of coat colors depending on their habitat. For example, coyotes that live in the mountains or forest have a darker brown coat but coyotes that live in the desert are yellowish tan in order to blend better with the landscape.

Short Answer Questions

Coyotes usually eat any kind of small mammal that they can catch, including rodents, rabbits, squirrels, voles, and prairie dogs.

Rattlesnakes Reading Passage

Almost all the snakes in the United States are harmless. There are only four kinds snakes in the U.S. that have venom that is fatal to humans: the cottonmouth water moccasin; the coral snake; the copperhead; and the rattlesnake.

Multiple Choice Questions

There are sixteen species of rattlesnakes in the United States and all rattlesnakes have a triangular head and a set of rattles at the end of their tails.

Short Answer Questions

Rattlesnakes have a forked tongue that it uses for obtaining information about the scents nearby.

Grizzly Bears Reading Passage

One of the largest North American carnivores is the grizzly bear. Grizzly bears derive their name from the gray hairs in their fur.

Short Answer Questions

Grizzly bears are omnivorous, which means they eat plants, berries, fish and other mammals.

Short Answer Questions

Grizzly bears are different from other species of brown bears. Besides having grizzled fur, grizzly bears have a large hump over their shoulders.

Polar Bears

The polar bear derives its name from its habitat in the frozen areas around the North Pole in the countries of the United States (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Greenland and Norway.

Multiple Choice Questions

Polar bears are carnivores, which means they only eat meat. Their favorite meal is seals. Seals are marine mammals that live in the artic waters.

Short Answer Questions

Polar bears live near the edge of the ice instead of further inland so that they can hunt for seals