Grizzly Bear

A grizzly bear is the largest, most powerful bear of Western North America. Grizzly bears live primarily in Alaska and Western Canada. In addition, small numbers of Grizzlies are found in Idaho, Washington, and Wyoming. Grizzlies belong to a species of bear called the big brown bears. Grizzly bears are usually found near water where they are hunting for salmon.

A hump on the shoulders of big brown bears distinguishes them from other bears. Kodiak bears are sometimes called grizzlies. The hump on the back of the grizzly also makes the arm strength of the bear greater than it already is. The strength of the arm is good for climbing because it can get away from predators.

Adult grizzly bears usually grow and stay from 6 to 8 feet long ( 1.8 to 2.4 meters ). Most adult males weigh from 400 to 500 pounds. Most adult females weigh from 350 to 400 pounds. Grizzly bears have thick, wooly under fur that ranges from a very light tan to an almost black. Grizzlies also have a coarse-white or silver tipped outer hairs, giving them a grizzled ( grayish ) color. Silver tips is also another name for grizzlies.

During the summer and fall the grizzly may eat from 80 to 90 pounds of food per day, to keep it full to prepare for its winter hibernation. During and throughout the winter grizzly bears live in dens. Others build beds under branches or dig holes under the ground. This is an adaptation because when it eats it won't be hungry throughout the winter. It prepares for the winter by eating lots of food to get extra layers of fat to keep it warm when the winter comes. In the den the mother usually gives birth to one or two cubs. The mother stays with its cubs from one and a half to three and a half years. This is an adaptation because the mother can teach its cubs how to hunt and teach the young cubs everything it needs to know before going off by itself. In the summertime the grizzly loses its old coat and grows a new short coat of fur so that it won't overheat. When it comes to winter the grizzly's coat grows thicker for warmth.

Grizzly bears have very long claws to catch salmon and to dig. It uses its claws to swipe at the salmon and kill the salmon. This is an adaptation because it gives the grizzlies an easier time to catch food for its young cubs and itself.

Grizzly bears may also have a very keen sense of smell to find food for their young cubs and themselves. Grizzly bears do not have very good eyesight so that is why the grizzlies have a good sense of smell. This is an adaptation because if the grizzlies can't see their food they can use their noses to sniff out things.

Grizzly bears mostly live in the forests of Alaska and Western Canada. Some Grizzlies are in the forests of Montana, Idaho, and Washington. The grizzlies live in the forests so not to attract people.

Grizzly bears can stand on their back legs to let them see further away to the point where most animals can't see. This also helps them find scents with ease. This is an adaptation because the grizzlies can see if there is predators or if danger approaches.

Jonkel, Charles, "Grizzly Bears," World Book Multimedi Referencesa, Chicago, IL, 1998.

Graves, Elanor, "Bears and Other Carnivores," Time Life, United States, 1963.

Gilks, Helen, Bears, Andrew Bale, New York, 1993.

By: Chris A.

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