Facts about Brown Bears

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1. Second Largest Bears in the World

Brown bears are sometimes referred to as grizzly bears in the U.S. They are the second largest bears in the world after the polar bears. Brown bears usually have a dark brown color though their color shade varies from light cream to black. Their long hairs on the back and over their shoulders have a light color on the tip that appear grizzled from a distance.

 2. Appearance

Brown bears have a hump on their shoulders that gives them a distinct look. They have a slightly dished face, long straight claws on their front paws and less conspicuous ears. Their long claws help in digging roots or removing small mammals. The shoulder humps are designed to aid brown bears in attaining fast speed of up to 48 kilometers per hour that enable them capture prey.

 3. Brown Bear Size

The size of brown bears varies depending on how different populations feed. Determining the weight of specific populations can be challenging due to seasonal considerations. Some brown bears almost double their spring weight in fall. The heaviest brown bear weighed over 2500 pounds. At birth, brown bear cubs weigh between 340 and 680 grams.

 4. Location of Largest Brown Bears

The largest brown bears belong to the Admiralty and Kodiak species found in Alaska, along British Columbia’s west coast and on Alaska’s offshore islands. Males in these regions can way more than 660 pounds while females weigh over 440 pounds. Brown bears that live in the interior range of Europe, North America and sub-Arctic are about three quarters the size of their Kamchatkan and Alaskan counterparts.

 5. Brown Bear Habitations

Brown bears are found on the widest range occupied by any bear species. Their habitations include boreal forests, coastal forests, tundra, sub-alpine mountain areas, deserts and semi-deserts, and deciduous forests. Brown bears were once prevalent on North America’s central plains and across Europe but they have been exterminated from these areas over time.

 6. Widest Bear Species in the World

Brown bears have 16 sub-species, which is among the widest of bear species in the world. They are also widely distributed across the world with localized brown bear populations found in western and eastern Europe, northern parts of Asia, sections of the Himalayan Mountains and on Hokkaido Island in Japan. Brown bears inhabit Alaska, western parts of Canada and Idaho, Wyoming, Washington and Montana states in North America

 7. Reproduction

At the age of 3.5 to 7 years, female brown bears attain sexual maturity. Though males reach sexual maturity around the same age, they are usually not big enough to breed until they are 8 or 10 years old. Mating season runs from May to mid-July though implantation occurs in October or November. Cubs are born between January and March. Female brown bears give birth to mostly 2 cubs that they nurse for 2.5 years. Females breed once every 3 years.

8. Socialization

Except for females accompanying their cubs, brown bears are loners most of the time. During mating season, males attend females for about two weeks. Brown bears stay in overlying home ranges with male ranges being bigger than those of females. Brown bears are known to congregate in large numbers in areas with food abundance despite their solitary nature. In situations like these, males are more dominant than females.

 9. Feeding

Brown bears are omnivorous animals eating vegetation like nuts, sedges, grass, roots and bulbs. They feed on fish, ants, and small mammals as well as hunt for larger hoofed mammals like caribou, moose calves and elk calves. During fall, bears can consume as much as 40 kilograms of food per day.

 10. Winter Hibernation

During winter, brown bears hibernate to dens that they dig in ideal hillsides. Females give birth to cubs during the winter rest. The cubs feed on mother bear’s milk till spring. Bears do not poo or pee during hibernation.

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