Brown bear

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Brown bear
Kodiak brown bear.jpg
Kodiak brown bear
Ursus arctos middendorffi
Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Bilateria
Branch Deuterostomia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Class Information
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Mammalia
Sub-class Theria
Infra-class Eutheria
Order Information
Order Carnivora
Sub-order Caniformia
Family Information
Family Ursidae
Genus Information
Genus Ursus
Species Information
Species U. arctos
Population statistics

The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a species of bear found throughout much of the cold wilderness areas of the northern hemisphere.

Among the largest of bears, the brown bear can exceed 1,700 pounds in weight and stand up to ten feet tall; only the polar bear is larger. They have an omnivorous diet, and subsist on berries and vegetation as well as meat and fish. Brown is the general coloration of the coat, but occasionally vary dark individuals are encountered, as well as the very rare "white" brown bear (it has since been established that brown bears will mate with polar bears, resulting in hybrids). Coastal bears - those that live within 200 miles of the ocean - are more carnivorous than bears which live in the interior due to an abundance of salmon, resulting in the very large Alaskan and Kodiak subspecies.

In North America brown bears are found mainly in western Canada and Alaska; in the lower United States they are restricted to the northern Rockies. They are found throughout northern Asia, while in Europe they have been restricted to deep mountainous areas, such as the Pyrenees and Balkans, due to human hunting and encroachment. The Atlas bear - from the Atlas Mountains in northern Africa - was the only bear to live in Africa, a spectacle in Roman colosseum battles; the last Atlas bear is said to have been shot in the late 19th century.

Brown bears are extremely powerful animals, with no natural predators other than man. Although slow and lumbering in appearance, they are known to employ quick bursts of speed (up to 35 mph) to take down a meal or remove a potential threat, and one swipe of a large paw can kill an animal the size of a moose. The film Grizzly Man (2005) tragically chronicled just how dangerous and unpredictable bears can be.[1]

Considered a sub-species, the grizzly (U. a. horribilis) of North America was named for the grizzled appearance of its silver-tipped fur.


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