One of the largest carnivores on Earth, the brown bear (Ursus arctos) is perhaps the most archetypal of all bear species; indeed the genus and species name both mean “bear” in Latin and Greek respectively. The brown bear shows incredible geographical diversity, and the single species recognised today was at one point in history divided into 232 living and 39 fossil species and subspecies. Some of the more well-known subspecies of brown bear include the grizzly bear, named for its silver tipped fur, and the Kodiak bear, the largest form of brown bear, which can reach up to 780 kilograms, and is found on islands off southern Alaska. All forms of brown bear are powerfully built, with a prominent shoulder hump, a large head, and long, robust claws, which are better suited for digging rather than tree-climbing.. The coat varies in colour, locally between individuals and geographically, appearing brown, blonde, brown with silver-tips, and near black. Where their ranges overlap, the brown bear and the American black bear (Ursus americanus) may be confused due to the potential similarities in coat colour. However, the brown bear is usually larger, with a snout that rises more abruptly to the forehead. The home range of a brown bear is extremely large, reaching up to 2,000 square kilometres in males. Brown bears can survive for over half a year without eating, drinking, urinating or defecating whilst in hibernation. Brown bears are opportunistic and seasonal feeders, moving in response to food aggregations such as spawning salmon.
Brown Bear Subspecies
- European Brown Bear
- Grizzly Bear
- Himalayan Brown Bear
- Kamchatka Brown Bear
- Kodiak Bear
- Tibetan Blue Bear
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