Grizzly Bears
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Grizzly Bears

The Grizzly Bear, also known as the Silvertip Bear, are usually treated as a sub-species of the brown bear living in North America, i.e., Ursus arctos horribilis. The name Grizzly Bear is commonly used to represent interior North American Brown Bear, while the coastline bears of North America are called as Kodiak Bears. It is also believed that the coastal bears, which feed on salmon, can grow much larger than those which do not have access to a protein-rich diet. Also, Grizzly Bears are distinguished from black bears found in the lower 48 states, by longer, curved claws, humped shoulders, and a face that appears to be concave.

The weight of male Grizzly Bears ranges from 400 to 600 pounds whereas for females it ranges from 250 to 350 pounds. The color of Grizzly Bears largely varies across geographic areas, from blond to deep brown or black. Such a difference in colors is believed to be due to the difference in the environment, especially with regard to diet and temperature. The head is large with a concave profile face. They have a large hump over the shoulders used as a muscle mass to power the forelimbs for digging. Above all, besides being large sized, these can run at a speed up to 55 km/h!

Grizzly Bears are omnivores, i.e., these feed on a variety of plants and berries including roots or sprouts and fungi, fish, insects, and small mammals. To survive during winter, Grizzlies gain a hundred kilograms of fat in advance and then go for a false hibernation. The hibernation of Grizzly Bears is a debatable issue among professionals, as it is not sure whether they hibernate or not! Grizzlies are also capable of partially recycling of their body wastes during this period.

Except for breeding and during the initial growth of the little cubs, Grizzlies are normally solitary and nocturnally active; female Grizzly Bears give birth to the cubs every other year in early February, while in dens for hibernation. The number of offspring may vary from 1 to 4 a litter; but most often, there are two, weighing only one pound. These cubs remain inside the den or cave with the mother for about three months and then emerge to see the outer world. Mothers are very protective to their little cubs, and may risk their own life to protection to them. However, humans are believed to be the biggest threat to these bears.

Grizzly Bears, like other bears are dangerous if are encountered, because they may attack and harm; however, the conditions or situations may differ, and so the result. A female bear may attack in case she thinks that there is some threat to her cubs; an ill or hungry bear may attack for some different reasons. But, the best way for humans is to keep themselves away from these and avoid an encounter. If you see any bear then immediately leave that place. However, unfortunately, if you are anyhow attacked, try to lie in and curl into fetal position and protect the head.

Further Reading

Animal Diversity Web
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ursus_arctos.html

 

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