All of this started with a grizzly bear. This wouldn’t be written for you to read if I hadn’t one day thought that Zazzle needed more bears and then drawn one. Therefore, I think that a post about Grizzlies is long overdue. They are one of my favorite animals and, although I have never seen one in the wild, I still really hope to.
The majority of North American grizzly bears live in Alaska and Canada, and a significantly smaller portion live in Montana and Wyoming. Interestingly, they are only called grizzly bears when they are in inland regions. When they live on the coasts in Alaska, they are called brown bears. So, if you were ever wondering which was correct, and if there were actually two types of brown bear, you can rest easy now that you know. Grizzly bears aren’t actually all brown, though. They tend to have white or grey tips to their fur, which gives them the grizzled appearance they are named after. Some can even range from a dark almost black coat to a light, blondish one.
Grizzly bears (inland bears) are generally smaller than brown bears (coastal bears), though, but they still do belong to the same species. The size difference is because of what they eat. Brown bears eat a lot of protein, in fish. Meanwhile, grizzlies eat berries and meat to a lesser extent. It will be interesting, though, to see if over time these do evolve as separate species. They are geographically isolated and have different diets, which is usually a reason for evolving with different characteristics. Grizzly bears may eventually grow smaller and live on vegetation, more like a black bear, while brown bears get larger and stronger, making them even better hunters. Since evolution takes time, none of us will be alive to see that (in all likelihood) so for now, it can be an interesting possibility.
Grizzly bears occupy the same environment as black bears, although they utilize different areas of the land. Grizzly bears have longer and straighter claws than black bears, which makes them more suited to digging rather than climbing. In fact, grizzly cubs can only climb trees until they are a year old, at which time they are too heavy to scramble up and down. Because of this, grizzly bears prefer open meadows, where they can dig up their food, both plants and small animals.
Grizzly bears have large territories, often reaching hundreds of square miles. This means that they are not unlikely to come in contact with human civilization. In 1975, they were listed as an endangered species because of this. They were losing their habitat due to building up of natural land, and hunting. In Yellowstone, happily, around 700 bears were reported in 2014 in the Greater Yellowstone Area, a distinct improvement. Within the park, though, there are 150 bears, and this number has not been increasing. Because the park is a good and natural habitat, rangers assume that the park is currently at carrying capacity. If you’ve ever been to Yellowstone, you’ll know big it is. This can give you a sense of just how much territory each bear needs and, therefore, why human building can seriously endanger them.
There is a lot more I could write about bears, so I think I’ll save that for the end of the week. If this post interested you, be sure to stick around for the next one. Thank you for reading and, until next time, goodbye!
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