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Brown Bear
 Brown Bear Facts and Information

Brown Bear
Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Hillebrand, Steve

Common Name: Brown Bear
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
Species: Ursus arctos

The brown bear is usually brown in color, but has also been known to be blonde or black. The tips of the fur are often white and silver giving a “grizzled” appearance. Brown bears have a large hump of muscle on their shoulders which distinguishes the brown bear from other bears. While this bear can have claws up to 6 inches in length, they tend to have blunt points from digging for foliage and roots. A typical size of the brown bear is anywhere from 5 to 9 feet (1.5 to 2.5 meters) in length and 35 to 60 inches (90 to 150 centimeters) in height at the shoulders. Another distinguishing characteristic of this bear is a round large head and a concave facial profile. Male brown bears can be up to 50% larger than females, but the size of the bear is tied to the habitat and diet of foods that are readily available.
Brown Bear - Front Paw Print
Front Paw Print
Brown Bear - Rear Paw Print
Rear Paw Print

Brown Bear Distribution/Habitat

Brown Bear - Distribution

The range of habitat is primarily distributed across much of North America and northern Eurasia. While its range has decreased due to loss of habitat, this species of bear is in the low risk for conservation status. The population of the brown bear is approximately 180,000 to 200,000 with the principal range in Canada (primarily the Yukon, Northwest Territories and British Columbia), the United States (Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Idaho) and Russia.

Brown Bear Diet

Brown Bear - Eating
Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Hillebrand, Steve

While brown bears are in the Carnivora Order, they spend a majority of their time eating vegetation such as wild berries, nuts, tubers and plant roots. In some areas, the brown bear is provided with the necessary proteins from eating salmon in the coastal regions as well as eating a variety of insects and smaller mammals. Brown bears have also been known to prey on larger mammals including deer, elk, moose, caribou and bison, but typically the younger mammals, as they are easier to catch. During the summer months, brown bears put on 300 to 400 pounds of fat which the bear will rely on during the winter months when it hibernates.

Brown Bear Reproduction

Brown Bear - Mother and Cubs
Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Hillebrand, Steve

The mating season is from late May to early July. Brown bears remain with the same mate upwards to a couple weeks. The number of cubs in a litter for a brown bear varies from one to four, but is typically two. When born, cubs weigh less than a pound and are without teeth, hair and sight. The cubs will feed on their mother’s milk until early summer when they may weigh up to 20 pounds depending on habitat, climate and the size of the litter. The cubs will remain with their mother from two to four years, during which time the bear learns important techniques such as hunting, fishing, and how to defend themselves from other bears and predators.

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