Grizzly Bear Facts
- To begin with, the powerful and majestic Grizzly Bear actually represents a subspecies of brown bear. At one time there were a total of five separate recognized species of Grizzly Bear, and each had their distinct range.
- There were once two other subspecies in North America alone, yet sadly, the California Grizzly became extinct in 1924. In addition, experts now believe that the Mexican Grizzly has also become extinct.
- Individual bears living closer to the coast tend to be larger than those living inland, due to the richer diet, which often leads people to believe that these bears represent separate species.
- Perhaps incidentally, these magnificent animals possess one of the longest natural lifespans of any ursine. Males live an average of 22 years in the wild, while the longer-lived females often reach 26 years of age.
Grizzly Bear Physical Description
One of the most noteworthy facts about the Grizzly Bear remains its tendency to display significant sexual dimorphism. Males attain an average weight of 790 lb (360 kg), while females rarely exceed 400 lb (180 kg).
An average individual has a body length of 6.5 ft (198 cm), and a shoulder height of 3.35 ft (102 cm). Yet exceptional individuals can attain weights of as much as 1,500 lb (680 kg).
While coloring ranges from light tan to nearly black, a typical individual will display dark brown fur. The species also remains distinguished by the presence of a pronounced hump on the shoulders.
Next, it bears mentioning that the powerful claws may be as much as 4 in (10 cm) in length.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Ursidae
- Genus: Ursus
- Species: U. arctos
Grizzly Bear Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
While the brown bear possesses a broad range, the subspecies of Grizzly Bear remains solely restricted to North America. Within that range, it exists from Alaska to Mexico, and as far east as Hudson Bay, as well as Canada.
Yet its numbers continue to decline, due to hunting and habitat loss, despite protection. While technically omnivorous, it primarily has a carnivorous diet consisting of large quantities of small game, fish, and various plants, depending on the individual habitat.
Habitats vary, depending on territory, yet typically consists of plains or forests. The animal also spends an average of 5-7 months each year in hibernation, with young actually being born during this period.
The bears typically live solitary lives, except while raising the young.