Grizzly Bear Fur

Grizzly Bear Fur

Dense and Shaggy Grizzly Coat

Grizzly bears have a dense and shaggy coat of fur that serves several important functions, providing insulation, protection, and camouflage.

Grizzly Bear Fur Coloration

Grizzly bear fur can vary widely in color, ranging from blonde or light brown to dark brown or almost black.

The fur on their hump and shoulders often has a grizzled appearance, with silver-tipped hairs, which is one of the reasons they are called "grizzly" bears.

Grizzly Bears' Insulating Fur Coat

The dense fur coat provides insulation against the cold, especially during the winter months and at higher elevations where temperatures can be low.

Grizzly bears are adapted to a variety of climates, and their fur helps regulate body temperature by trapping a layer of air close to the skin.

Water Resistance of Grizzly Bear Fur

Grizzly bear fur has water-resistant properties, helping to shed rain and snow and keeping the bear's skin dry.

This water-resistant feature is particularly important when grizzly bears are fishing for salmon or wading through wet environments.

Grizzly Bear Fur Coat Seasonal Changes

Grizzly bears undergo molting, a process where they shed and regrow their fur, typically occurring in the late spring or early summer.

During molting, the old fur is replaced by a new one, which can vary in color and may appear darker or lighter than the previous coat.

Grizzly Bears' Camouflage

The coloration and texture of grizzly bear fur provide effective camouflage in their natural habitats, such as forests and meadows.

This helps them blend into their surroundings, making it easier to approach prey or avoid potential threats.


The long guard hairs on a grizzly bear's coat provide protection against thorns, branches, and other environmental elements when the bear is moving through dense vegetation.

The fur also acts as a barrier against insect bites and helps protect the bear's skin.

Scent Distribution

Grizzly bears have scent glands located on their feet, and as they move, they can leave scent marks on the ground through the oils in their fur. This helps communicate with other bears in the area.

Grizzly Bear Fur for Hibernation

During hibernation, grizzly bears rely on their fur and body fat to provide insulation and maintain a stable body temperature while they are in a state of reduced metabolic activity.

The fur of grizzly bears is a multifunctional adaptation that plays a crucial role in their survival and well-being. It helps them thrive in diverse environments, regulate body temperature, navigate through various terrains, and communicate with other bears in their habitat.

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Grizzly Bears in Canada

Wild Grizzly Bears

Grizzly Bear - Brown Bear Species

Genetic science reveals the grizzly to be a subspecies of the brown bear (Ursus arctos). In North America, "brown bear" is also known as "grizzly bear", being all the same species, Ursus arctos.

Coastal grizzly bears are larger and darker than inland grizzlies. They were considered a different species from grizzlies at one time. Kodiak grizzly bears also were considered a distinct species. At that time there were five different species of brown bear, including these three in North America.

Grizzly Bear Size

Female grizzlies usually weigh 130–180 kg (290–400 lb), while adult male grizzly bears weigh on average 180–360 kg (400–790 lb). Female Grizzly Bear average weights would be 136 kg (300 lb) inland and 227 kg (500 lb) coastal. One study found that the average weight for an inland male grizzly bear was around 272 kilograms (600 pounds), and the average weight for a coastal male was around 408 kg (899 lb). Newborn grizzly bear cubs uausally weigh less than 500 grams (1.1 lb).

Grizzly Bear Fur Color

Although grizzlies color can be blond to nearly black, grizzly bear fur is usually brown with darker legs and commonly white or blond tipped fur on the flank and back.

Grizzly Bear Physical Characteristics

A large muscular hump exists on adult grizzly bear shoulders. Aside from the distinguishing hump, grizzly bears also have "dished in" face profiles with short, rounded ears.

Grizzly bear's rear end is lower than its shoulders, where as a black bear's rump is higher than its shoulders.

Grizzly bear's front claws are usually 2–4 inches in length, where as a black bear's claws measure about 1–2 inches in length.

Grizzly Bear Hibernation

Grizzly bears hibernate from 5 to 7 months each year unless they live in warm climates where they may not hibernate at all. During hibernation, female grizzly bears give birth and their offspring will consume milk from their mother for the remainder of the hibernation period.

Grizzly bears must consume an immense amount of food to prepare for hibernation. Bears can gain hundreds of pounds during the period just before hibernation called hyperphagia. In this period, grizzlies may consume up to 10 times the amount of calories compared to Spring and Summer.

Bears do not eat during hibernation. Grizzly bears do not defecate or urinate throughout the entire hibernation period. Male grizzly bears usually come out of hibernation in early to mid-March, while females emerge in April or early May.

Bears often wait for a snowstorm as a trigger to enter their den. This behavior reduces the chances that predators will find the den. Grizzly Bear dens are typically at elevations above 1,800 m (5,900 ft) on north-facing slopes.

Inland or Rocky Mountain grizzlies spend nearly half of their life in dens while coastal grizzly bears spend less time in dens. If food is very plentiful year round, grizzly bears may not hibernate at all.

Grizzly Bear Reproduction

Grizzly bears have one of the lowest reproductive rates of all land mammals in North America. Grizzly bears do not reach sexual maturity until they are at least five years old. After mating, females delay embryo implantation until hibernation, during which miscarriage can occur if the female is not in good enough condition. Female grizzly bears usually produce two cubs in a litter, with the mother caring for the cubs for up to two years before mating again.

Grizzlies are normally solitary animals, but in coastal areas, grizzlies gather around streams, lakes, rivers, and ponds during the salmon spawn. Females (sows) produce one to four cubs that are small and weigh only about 450 grams (1 lb) at birth. Unfortunately, most grizzly bear cubs do not make it through their first year due to many factors.

Grizzly Bear Lifespan

The average lifespan for a grizzly boar is estimated at 22 years, with sows living slightly longer at 26.

Females live longer than males due to their less dangerous life, as they do not fight during mating season like boars do. The oldest known wild inland grizzly was about 34 years old(Alaska), with the oldest known coastal bear being 39. Captive grizzlies have been known to live as long as 44 years.