About Bears
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About Bears

Brown Bear

Brown Bears are omnivorous mammals.

Brown Bear Classification:

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
Species: Arctos

Other Names: Grizzly, Grizzly Bear, Kodiak, Kodiak Bear, Russian Brown Bear, Honey Eater, Alaskan Bear, Alaskan Brown Bear, Asiatic Bear, European Bear, Himalayan Bear, Silvertip Bear, Kamchatka Brown Bear, Far Eastern Brown Bear, California Golden Bear, Atlas Bear, Amur Brown Bear, Tibetan Blue Bear, Mexican Grizzly Bear, Eastern Siberian Brown Bear, and Syrian Bear

Size: Brown bears weigh from 660 to 1,700 lbs. The largest sub-species of brown bears is the Kodiak bear which rivals the polar bear as the largest land-based predator. Grizzly bears in the Yukon, a sub-species of the brown bear can weigh as little as 350 lbs. A brown bear, from coastal Alaska and Russia can weigh 1,500 lbs. Brown bears are 5-8 feet tall.

Habitat: Brown bears are found in Northern Eurasia and North America. The brown bear is the most widely distributed of all bears. Brown bears were once native to Asia, the Atlas Mountains in Africa, Europe, and North America, but they are now extinct in some regions, and their populations have decreased in some of the regions. Brown bears prefer semi-open country, usually in a mountainous region. Brown bears prefer a wilderness region that contains river valleys, mountain forests, and open meadows. The Kodiak bear a brown bear sub-species is found exclusively on Kodiak Island.

Sub-species: There are estimates that there as many as 90 sub-species of brown bear.

Brown Bear Sub-Species Include:

Atlas Bear - Ursus arctos crowtheri
Carpathian Bear - Ursus arctos formicarius
Gobi Bear - Ursus arctos gobiensis
Grizzly Bear - Ursus arctos horribilis
European Brown Bear - Ursus arctos arctos
Himalayan Brown Bear - Ursus arctos isabellinus
Hokkaido Brown Bear - Ursus arctos yesoensis
Kodiak Bear - Ursus arctos middendorffi
Marsican Bear - Ursus arctos marsicanus
Mexican Grizzly Bear - Ursus arctos nelsoni
Siberian Brown Bear - Ursus arctos beringianus
Syrian Brown Bear - Ursus arctos syriacus
Tibetan Blue Bear - Ursus arctos pruinosus

Territories: Brown bears are territorial and frequent their "range". A female brown bear requires 50 to 300 square miles of home range, while male brown bears need about 200 to 500 square miles.

Diet: Brown bears are omnivorous and are opportunistic feeders. Brown bears eat fish (in particular salmon), grasses, sedges, skunk cabbage, nuts, berries, fruit, leaves and roots. Bears also eat other animals, from rodents to moose. Brown bears will eat up to 90 lbs of food each day, they will often weigh twice as much before hibernation as they will in the spring.


Brown Bear
Brown Bear

Conservation Classification: Not Endangered

Brown Bear Photo

Large Brown Bear

Brown Bear Picture

Behavior: Brown bears dig dens for winter hibernation, often holing up in a suitable hillside. Females, or she-bears, den while pregnant and give birth during this winter rest, usually to a pair of cubs. Brown bears are not true hibernators, but they do slow down their metabolism and sleep through most of the winter. This allows the brown bear to save energy, when there is little food available outside for them to eat. This is called a state of torpor. Brown bears are able to sleep through the winter by living on reserves of fat stored on their bodies during the summer and fall, but they do wake up on occasion through the winter, and they may even emerge from their dens.

Description: Though called "brown", brown bears are not always brown. Brown bears can be almost any color, they range from mostly white to blonde to pure black and many color phases in between, depending on their age, sex and season. Grizzlies will often have a "silver-tipped" appearance to their fur. The brown bear has a concave face, high-humped shoulders, and long, curved claws, that are 2-4 inches long. Brown bears have coarse, protective, guard hairs and soft underfur, that acts as insulation and keeps them warm in the winter.

Birth: Brown bears give birth to cubs that are typically one pound at birth. Brown bears are 23-28 centimeters in length at birth. The brown bears litter size ranges from one and five cubs, with two on average. Survival rates for brown bear cubs are low.

Did You Know?

Male brown bears take no part in raising their cubs parenting is left entirely to the females.

Gestation: A brown bear carries its young from 180 and 266 days.

Cubs: Brown bear cubs will stay with their mother for up to 2-2.5 years. Brown bear cubs are born blind and helpless.

Sexual Maturity: Female brown bears mature from between 5-7 years of age. Male brown years do not sexually reproduce until 8-10 years of age. Brown bears are serially monogamous, they will remain with the same mate from several days to a couple of weeks. Brown bears females only reproduce once every three years.

Life Span:The average life span of brown bear is 25 years of age. Habitat degradation and new roads, ranching, overhunting and increasing human encroachments can eventually eliminate the brown bear species.

Social Structure: Brown bears are solitary animals, except for females and their cubs, it is rare that they congregate. Typically when they congregate it is to fish at a river's edge when the salmon swim upstream for summer spawning.

Did You Know?

The brown bear is primarily nocturnal.

Athleticism: Although large brown bears can travel at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. If a human comes between a mother and her cubs they will respond aggressively.

Unusual: Brown bears are more aggressive than other bear species.

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