Weight of Grizzly Bear

The majority of people avoid grizzly bears in the wild because of their reputation as vicious, terrifying predators. The word “terrible bear” appears in their scientific name, Ursus arctos horribilis.

Grizzly bears are highly strong and dangerous due to their enormous size, speed, strength, and senses. Which raises the question of how big they can actually become. The biggest grizzly bear ever recorded is the subject of this article, despite being enormous on average.

What is a grizzly bear?

Grizzly bears are a brown bear subspecies that are now found in North America. The brown bear is the bear species with the most subspecies!

The Kodiak bear, which lives in Alaska’s Kodiak Islands, the Eurasian brown bear, Syrian brown bear, Tibetan blue bear, Manchurian grizzly bear, Himalayan brown bear, Gobi bear, and Kamchatkan brown bear are some more brown bear subspecies.

There were other subspecies, but they are now extinct. Brown bears are found all throughout the world, but only grizzly bears are found in Alaska, western Canada, and the northwest United States.

Due to their omnivorous nature, grizzly bears consume both plants and animals in their diet. Grizzly bears are hypocarnivores, unlike their close cousins the polar bears. Because more than 70% of a polar bear’s diet consists of meat, they are considered hypercarnivores.

But since they consume less meat than other animals and place a greater emphasis on other food sources, grizzly bears are hypocarnivores.

Large prey include moose, elk, caribou, white-tailed deer, mule deer, bison, and bighorn sheep make up the 30% of their diet that contains meat. Salmon, trout, and bass are other prey items for grizzly bears. They eat grasses, nuts, tubers, and a variety of berries, which are all herbivorous.

Are Grizzly Bears And Brown Bears The Same?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature(opens in new tab), brown bears (Ursus arctos) may be found throughout North America, Europe, and northern Asia. They are the most extensively dispersed bears in the world (IUCN).

The two main groups of brown bears in North America are grizzly bears and Kodiak bears (Ursus arctos middendorffi). According to the National Wildlife Federation(opens in new tab), grizzly bears are present throughout the remainder of their range in North America but Kodiak bears are restricted to the Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska (NWF).

This encompasses Canada, three additional U.S. states, and mainland Alaska.

The subspecies Ursus arctos horribilis can be used to group grizzly bears together, while some sources include more than one subspecies. For instance, the North American brown bear subspecies recognized by the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) include the extinct California grizzly bear (Ursus arctos californicus).

According to the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History(opens in new tab), these grizzlies lived in California until people exterminated them there in the 1920s.

How do grizzly bears compare to other bear species?

One of the eight bear species is the brown bear. But each species has a number of subspecies, including the grizzly bear. The polar bear is the largest species of bear and one of the biggest terrestrial animals in North America (Ursus maritimus).

The average male polar bear weighs between 770 and 1,540 pounds! The Kodiak bear, which normally reaches 660–1,320 pounds, is the biggest subspecies of brown bear. The sun bear, which normally weighs between 55 and 143 pounds, is the smallest species of bear.

Physical Characteristics

Grizzly bears may weigh up to 1,000 pounds, making them substantially bigger than black bears. Males in the Yellowstone region often weigh 300–700 pounds, while females typically weigh 200–400 pounds.

Strong muscles that aid in digging for roots, mushrooms, and other edibles are located in the huge hump that grizzly bears have on their shoulders. To aid in these excavations, they also have lengthy claws that may reach a length of four inches. To set them apart from black bears, whose faces are elongated, their faces are frequently referred to as “dish-shaped.”

How big are the largest of other species?

The 2,209-pound heaviest polar bear ever recorded was hunted in Alaska! That is larger than a typical grizzly bear by more than three times!

The 1,656-pound biggest wild Kodiak bear ever discovered was discovered in Alaska! The largest American black bear was a male that weighed 902 pounds when it was killed in New Brunswick, Canada.

What Do Grizzly Bears Look Like?

When standing on all fours, grizzly bears are normally 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) tall at the shoulders. However, when standing on their hind legs, they may reach heights of about 9 feet (2.7 meters).

Males may weigh up to 860 pounds (390 kilograms), whilst females can only reach 455 pounds (205 kg). Grizzlies are smaller than polar bears and kodiak bears, which may both reach heights of over three meters (10 feet).

The National Park Service states that the color of a grizzly bear’s coat can range from blond to black (opens in new tab). Due to their vast range in size and coat color, American black bears (Ursus americanus), which are normally smaller and darker in color—but not always—cannot always be distinguished from grizzly bears by these two characteristics alone.

Looking at a bear’s body structure and tracks can help you tell grizzly bears apart from black bears with better accuracy. All brown bears have a distinct shoulder hump that is higher than their rump, including grizzly bears. Black bears have rumps that are higher than their shoulders but lack a hump.

In addition, the NPS states that black bears have straight faces and higher, more oval-shaped ears whereas grizzly bears have dish-shaped faces and short, round ears. Additionally, compared to black bear claws, brown bear claws are larger and straighter and leave markings in tracks more frequently.

How do grizzly bears get so big?

When grizzly bears get ready for hibernation, they grow to their biggest sizes. In dens, hollowed trees, and burrows they dig in the ground, bears normally spend the winter. Click here to read more about hibernation and the locations where bears hibernate.

When an animal enters a condition of slumber known as hibernation, its metabolic rate is slowed. Grizzly bears hibernate so they may survive on the resources they have gathered and consumed before winter arrives when food is short.

The bear is using less energy because of its sluggish metabolic rate during hibernation because of its slower breathing, lower heart rate, and lower body temperature. Hyperphagia, or overeating, is a feature of the period before hibernation. Grizzly bears may gain 400 pounds during this period!

Grizzly bears are huge animals in general for a variety of evolutionary reasons. Bergmann’s rule is a fascinating concept in evolutionary biology that has to do with size.

According to Bergmann’s rule, species and subspecies that live in colder habitats will grow bigger than those that live in warmer ones. This is so that more heat can be retained since bigger and more rounded animals have superior surface to volume ratios.

For instance, the sun bear that lives in Southeast Asia is substantially bigger than the grizzly bear that lives in northern regions.

Diet and behavior

With the exception of females and their offspring, these magnificent giants are mostly solitary creatures, however occasionally they may gather in groups.

When salmon move upstream for summer spawning, dramatic bear groups can be witnessed in Alaska’s best fishing locations. Numerous bears may congregate during this time of year to feast on the fish since they are in need of fats to get them through the next long winter.

For their winter hibernation, brown bears construct dens, frequently hiding out in a hillside that seems ideal. During this time of winter slumber, females give birth, frequently to twins.

Despite being strong top-of-the-food-chain predators, grizzly bears consume a large amount of nuts, berries, fruit, leaves, and roots in their diet. Additionally, bears consume other animals like moose and rats.

Grizzlies have been observed moving at 30 mph despite their enormous size. They can pose a threat to people, especially if they are startled or if people get in the way of a mother bear and her cubs.

Are Grizzly Bears Dangerous?

Grizzly bears normally stay away from people unless they consider them to be a threat to their territory, food, or pups. Bears do occasionally attack and kill people, though.

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, brown bears have murdered 84 people in the United States and Canada since 1900. (opens in new tab). According to the same data, polar bears and black bears each murdered 11 humans within the same time period.

The NPS(opens in new tab) advises that people stay away from bears, try to be noticed when they are in their surroundings, and steer clear of shocking them. There isn’t a bear attack prevention method that always works since bear behavior might be unpredictable.

According to the NPS, if you are attacked by a grizzly or brown bear, you should act dead by lying flat on your stomach with your legs wide and your hands clasped behind your neck to make it more difficult for the animal to roll you over.

It’s better to remain still until the bear leaves you alone since grizzlies will often attack with increased ferocity if you resist them.

According to the NPS, if the attack continues, you should fight back vehemently by punching the bear in the face with everything you have at your disposal. For black bear assaults, the NPS offers different advice: Playing dead during a black bear assault is never a good idea. Black bear attack victims should attempt to flee or, if escape is impossible, engage in combat.

People who are attacked by a bear while in a tent, or who have been stalked and subsequently assaulted, should not attempt to flee but should instead strike back as soon as possible. According to the NPS, in this situation, the bear views people as prey.


Grizzlies formerly roamed the Great Plains and inhabited most of western North America. Since these creatures require a lot of space—their home range may be as large as 600 square miles—their ideal environment is one that is undeveloped, has an abundance of food, and includes areas where they can dig their dens.

Although the bears were eventually driven out of most of their natural habitat due to European colonization, grizzly populations may still be found in some areas of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Washington State.

They rank among Yellowstone National Park’s most recognizable inhabitants. Grizzlies are still widely distributed in the wilds of Canada and Alaska, where they are sought after by hunters as large game trophies.

Grizzly-Wolf Interactions

Grizzlies and wolves often stay away from each other. However, because wolves are far superior hunters, wolf kills are a significant source of nutrition for grizzly bears. Because of this, grizzly bears have benefited from the reintroduction of wolves to the park.

It is quite improbable that wolves will be able to drive a bear away from a kill if a bear wishes to take it over from them, unless there are cubs present. A mother bear with cubs would frequently abandon a kill to guard her kids.

Where Do Grizzly Bears Live?

Alaska is home to the great majority of brown bears in North America, including grizzly bears. The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History estimates that 30,000 brown bears, or nearly 95% of the overall population, reside in the state.

The International Association for Bear Research and Management notes that grizzly bears may also be found in Canada and the American states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming (opens in new tab).

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, grizzly bears are adaptive and may live in a variety of environments across their range, including coastal regions, mixed-conifer forests, grasslands, highland forests, and Arctic tundra.

According to the University of Montana’s Grizzly Bear Recovery Program, individual bears live within home ranges that range from 50 to 150 square miles (130 to 390 square kilometers) for females and up to 600 square miles (1,555 square kilometers) for males, and their ranges can overlap with other bears’ territories (opens in new tab).

Although grizzlies live alone, they occasionally interact with other bears. Grizzly bears don’t rub trees with their backs because they have an agonizing itch.

Instead, they are exchanging scents with one another to communicate. According to the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, bears communicate with one another using noises and movement as well as urine to mark their territory.

When disturbed by people, grizzlies may swing between being nocturnal (active at night) and diurnal (active during the day).

According to a 2013 study of bears in Yellowstone National Park, which was published in the Journal of Mammalogy(opens in new tab), grizzly bear peak activity times varied depending on the season from midday to evening, indicating that they also alter their activity patterns based on the availability of food.

What is the largest grizzly bear ever recorded?

A taxidermist discovered the skull of the biggest grizzly bear ever documented in 1976. A hunter who killed a bear with a skull measuring 27 and 6/16th inches in length produced the second-largest grizzly skull ever discovered in 2014.

There are seldom weight measurements made of these enormous bears because they are frequently skinned after being shot.

What was the weight of the largest grizzly bear? The most famous huge grizzly was roughly 1,200 pounds in weight.

Those numbers will differ from what you might have read online. The story of a U.S. forest service employee who killed a huge grizzly that weighed 1,600 pounds is a well-known one. According to other tales, the bear was even a man-eater that was shot and killed.

The bear that was killed during the real hunt was 10 feet 6 inches tall from head to toe and may have weighed up to 1,200 pounds. Unfortunately, these tales are fabrications. Even while it’s still a pretty huge bear, the claimed 1,600 pounds is far from reality.

Grizzlies can probably weigh more than this, so perhaps a new record size will emerge soon. The world record weight for the Kodiak brown bear species is 1,656 pounds (more on this below).

Even still, this huge bear dwarfs typical grizzly bear proportions by weighing 1,200 pounds. Grizzly bear females often weigh between 290 and 400 pounds.

Although coastal populations can weigh an average of 899 pounds, male grizzly bears typically weigh between 400 and 790 pounds. Based on geographic distribution, environmental variables, and the availability of resources, the typical weight varies greatly.