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10 Interesting Facts About Grizzly Bears

Grizzly bears are large mammals found in North America. They are primarily found in Alaska and Canada, although they also live in colder states such as Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Washington. These brown bears are known for their grizzled fur and large size, weighing as much as 800 pounds. Here are some other interesting facts about grizzly bears.

1. Their Eating Habits Vary by Season

Grizzly bears are omnivorous, but their diet varies throughout the year. For example,

  • Fall. Whitebark pine nuts are the most common food for bears during fall. They also eat various roots, including pond weed root, sweet cicely root, bistort root, and yampa root. Berries, clover, and dandelion are also a part of a grizzly bear’s diet.
  • Spring. Grizzly bears primarily eat elk and bison during this time of year. Gophers and grasses are also on the menu.
  • Summer. During the summer, grasses and plants primarily make up a grizzly bear’s diet. The most commonly eaten plants include dandelion, clover, horsetail, thistle, biscuit root, and fireweed. They also eat strawberry, huckleberry, and buffaloberry, as well as ants and cutworm moths.

2. They’re at the Top of the Food Chain

Grizzly bears are apex predators, which means they are at the top of the food chain. They have no natural predators and can easily hunt and catch large mammals such as elk and bison.

3. They Eat a Lot

Grizzly bears eat as much as 90 pounds of food per day. That’s roughly half the weight of the average American.

4. They Have Competition

Grizzly bears will compete with wolves for food if they are in the same location.

5. They’re Fast Runners

Despite their large size, grizzly bears can actually run pretty fast. They can run up to 30 miles per hour. They have a huge hump on their shoulder that helps them reach top speeds.

6. Their Hump is Actually a Muscle

Grizzly bears can be easily identified by the large hump on their shoulders. This hump is actually a powerful muscle that is used to power these bears’ legs. The hump allows them to dig and run with ease.

7. They Have Large Claws

The claws of a grizzly bear can be 4 inches long, which is roughly the size of your fingers. You’ll want to avoid them.

8. They May Nurse for Three Years

A female grizzly bear will decide when she wants to mate again. They will wean their cubs when they are ready but can nurse for as long as three years.

9. Grizzly Bear Attacks Are Dangerous

You may be scared of sharks, but you should be even more scared of grizzly bears. They attack at much higher rates and can be deadly. This is likely because humans are increasingly imposing on bear habitats.

10. They Don’t Truly Hibernate

Grizzly bears go through a mild form of hibernation called torpor. During this time, their heart rate slows down to as low as 8 beats per minute. They do not eat, drink, defecate, or urinate.

Contact Us Today

Grizzly bears are large, beautiful creatures. Come visit Yellowstone Bear World, where you can drive through our park and experience the wild like you never have before. Contact us online or call (208) 359-9688 to learn more about pricing, experiences, operating hours, and other details.


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