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Grizzly Bear

  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Ursidae
  • Genus: Ursus
  • Species: arctos
Fun Fact

The word grizzly comes from the French word “gris” which means gray. The tips of the fur are lighter than the base giving the bear a “grizzled” appearance.

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About Grizzly Bears

Grizzlies are large brown bears with a black nose and short round ears. The grizzlies have a hump on their back which is a mass of muscles that give the bear added strength for running and digging. Grizzly bears can run up to 35 miles per hour for short distances. Their powerful jaw and claws are good for defending themselves and marking their territory.

Female grizzly bears weigh upwards of 700 pounds. The males are heavier than the females and can weigh up to 900 pounds. A large female will weigh up to 800 pounds. Grizzly bears are solitary animals, except when the mother is caring for her cubs.

They can communicate through sound, movement, and smell. Especially when the female is communicating with her young, they will grunt, moan, and growl. Grizzlies will rub their body against trees and the ground to mark their territory and find a mate.

Grizzly Bears in the Wild


Grizzly bears can inhabit a variety of habitats including dense forest, subalpine meadows, open plains and the arctic tundra.


In North America, the grizzly bear subspecies is prevalent in Alaska and western Canada, and can extend into the northwestern United States and along the Rocky Mountains.


They are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals, such as berries, moths, salmon (of course), and moose.

Population Status

They are currently classified as “threatened,” with only about 1,000 surviving in the continental United States. Their numbers have not been accurately tracked in the wilds of Alaska and Canada.

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