Why does 熊 have 能 in it? What do the four dots mean, and what is that stroke called? When I say why does it have it in it, does anyone have either a linguistic interpretation, or am interpretive definition?
It's clear at least that the 能 portion literally represents a bear. ChineseEtymology.org describes it this way:
Primitive pictograph 能. A bear which is strong with mouth 厶 with meat 月肉 and feet 匕匕. Meaning able.
Henshall describes it similarly, giving 厶 instead as nose, 肉 as flesh/of the body, and 匕匕 as representing claws. It came to represent ability later, either as a borrowed meaning or in reference to some attributes of a bear (strength, agility, etc.). But details aside, I think everyone agrees on what 能 literally represents.
So 熊 contains 能 because it represents a bear.
As for 灬, those four dots are typically taken as a form of 火 fire, but the reason for its presence in 熊 is less clear. Every source I've checked explains it differently. Zhongwen gives it as an abbreviated phonetic (from 炎), while ChineseEtymology.org says it comes from a representation of the four feet of the bear. Henshall has this to say:
Bear is now conveyed in practice by the [...] character 熊, that adds fire 灬, but it should be noted that 熊 technically means raging fire (literally a fire as strong and fierce as a bear), a meaning still found by association in the lesser meaning of bright/glare that 熊 has in Chinese.
So there you have three different explanations for 灬.