Scientific Name: Ursus arctos horribilis
Grizzly Bear Description
The amazing size and design of the Grizzly Bear makes it a spectacle to behold. There aren’t many animals in the world that can compare to the size of it. They can grow to be about 6 ½ feet tall for the females and as much as 8 feet for the males. They range in weight from 600 pounds to about 800 pounds. They are definitely not a small bear by any means.
They have white tipped ends of their fur which many people refer to as grizzly in nature. Of course this is where the name for these powerful bears stems from. They can be light brown, dark brown, or any color in between. They are very close in appearance to the Brown Bear.
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Grizzly Bear Anatomy
If you aren’t sure if you are looking at either a Grizzly Bear or a Brown Bear you only need to look past the head. There you may see a hump and is so, then it is definitely a Grizzly Bear. This is a part of their anatomy that no other bear has. Experts have learned that this hump is what allows this bear to be so much stronger than others that are similar in size.
Being an effective predator is also part of why this bear is so successful. The strength it has allows it to capture prey and to be able to dig when they need to find shelter. Both of these are necessary in order for such a large animal to be able to survive in the wild. One of the dangers from a Grizzly Bear is the long and sharp claws. They are retractable but easily accessible in an instant when they need them.
The large body of the Grizzly Bear is mainly due to the amount of fat it has to store up for the winter months. They feed heavily the rest of the year so that they can survive on those reserves. The coat of this bear is thicker than most others due to the colder temperatures where it happens to live. When the temperatures warm up though they will shed a great deal of it so that they don’t get too warm.
The jaw muscles of the Grizzly Bear are phenomenal. They are attached to a very large head and they are strong enough to crush through bones instantly. Some people are puzzled when it comes to the teeth of these animals. They do have the sharp canines so that they are able to bite with. However, they also have molars which are flat to grind up other forms of food as well.
Grizzly Bear Evolution
There are many wonderful theories when it comes to how the Grizzly Bear has evolved. There are plenty of them though that relate this species of bear to the early canines. It is believed that Brown Bears and the Grizzly Bear separated from one species due to the need to adapt to the differences in their environments. The Grizzly Bear was in the colder parts of the world where it was necessary for a thicker coat to be developed. They also need to be larger in order to store up that vast amount of fact for the winter. The additional strength was the result of the fittest being able to survive and pass along their genes to future generations.
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Grizzly Bear Behavior
The behaviors of a Grizzly Bear aren’t all predatory as so many believe. They do like to spend time alone though. In fact, males often spend their entire lives alone. The only exceptions is when they are young and still with their mothers. They other exception is when they briefly partner up with females for the purpose of mating.
You may have seen groups of Grizzly Bears though by the water and wondered how this can be. That is due to their feeding habits which we will go into more detail about later on. Males seem to be the most aggressive of the species due to their desire to maintain the area they have claimed as their own. They will make vocal sounds, scratch at trees to leave a scent, and also urinate frequently along their way. This is all to give other bears a clue that they are invading the space of another.
Most of the time the males do keep their distance from each other. However, when they may try to get into that of another for food or when their habitat is being limited by the actions of humans. When the females give off the scent for mating though many males start to battle each other in order to be the one she will mate with.
The females are fine most of the time with their territory overlapping that of several males. Since they have a smaller range this is often necessary for the females to find enough food. Yet when she has young with her it isn’t safe for her to venture into the territory of those males. If she does, the young are at risk of being killed by those older males.
Grizzly Bear Habitat
There are a few Grizzly Bears scattered in remote areas of North America. Sightings of them have been reported but they are very difficult to confirm. The majority of these bears live in the areas of Canada as well as Alaska. They tend to spend a great deal of their day roaming around in their established territory. They can move very quickly and cover many miles in a single day.
When food is scarce they will travel even further. They will also start to venture out of their own territory in search of it. miles per hour. This is why people are often surprised to see these bears in places that they didn’t ever encounter them in the past.
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Grizzly Bear Feeding Habits
Grizzly Bears will all gather around the waters when it is time for the salmon to spawn in the summer. This is an amazing image to see if you ever get the opportunity. You can also see various videos and documentaries of it. This is the only time you will see large numbers of these bears in one place without conflicts.
Grizzly Bears like to have their sources of meat. In fact, they take down more large prey than any other type of bears. Due to the regions where they live what they usually have access to includes deer, elk, and moose. They also like plants, leaves, bark, nuts, and fruits that they come across as well.
Grizzly Bear Reproduction
rizzly Bears can mate from May through the mid point of July. The courting is fast and the mating takes place often the same day. The male will leave the female in search of other females to mate with. The young are born while the female is hibernating for the winter. They are very small at birth so they will spend several months in the cave or den with their mother before coming out. She will care for them during the first couple of years of life.
Grizzly Bear Predators
Other than when they are battling each other, Grizzly Bears don’t have any known natural enemies. So why are there only about 1,000 of them left out there? Sadly, it is due to the actions of humans. These bears have long been considered one of the most rewarding hunting experiences out there. The fact that they are aggressive, limited in number, and very large makes many people interested in taking part in the hunt for them.