Paleobiologists generally agree that within the past 10,000 yr North American black bears ( Ursus americanus) have decreased in body and tooth size. Some researchers infer that diminution was gradual and continuous; thus, one might infer that a specimen is old if it is larger than an average-size modern bear. Ursid remains recovered in the 1950s from Lawson Cave, Missouri, that are larger than some modern bears have been reported to date to the late Pleistocene, but association with modern taxa, taphonomic considerations, and a radiocarbon date of 200 yr B.P. indicate that they are modern. Modern specimens from Lawson Cave and other parts of the American Midwest are relatively large compared to modern North American black bears from other areas, suggesting that many supposed late Pleistocene bears from the area might be modern also.