- Genus/Species: Ursus arctos horriblis
- Conservation Status: Endangered
- Location: North America
Huge but Quick
The grizzly bear can be found in the mountains and forests of North America. It is a solitary animal that is very aggressive. It has strong powerful shoulders and enormous claws that are very useful for digging. It gets its name from the grayish or grizzled tips of its fur. Grizzly bears are very quick and can run as fast as 35 miles per hour.
The size of grizzly bears varies from range to range depending on the food supply. Adult males tip the scales at 850 pounds, which is about the weight of four or five adults together. A grizzly bear standing on its hind legs can be as tall as 7 feet… a foot taller than a tall adult! Grizzly bears are not picky eaters- they will eat almost anything, but prefer grasses, roots, berries, fish, and small and large mammals. Gatherings of grizzly bears can be seen at prime Alaskan fishing spots when the salmon run upstream. Dozens of these bears may gather to feast on the fish.
Grizzly bears once roamed throughout most of the western North America and the Great Plains. As civilization grew, the range and number of grizzlies declined. Humans are the biggest threat to grizzly bears today. As more people construct more roads and build new homes in and around wild areas, the bears are driven away and are often killed. As a result, grizzly bears are a threatened species today.
Did You Know?
- Grizzly bears have an excellent sense of smell and hearing, but comparatively poor eyesight.
- The arms of a grizzly are so strong they can hug a person to death.
- Young grizzlies can climb trees but they lose this ability as they age.
- Grizzly bears can smell better than hound dogs.