It’s BEARtastic

I need to make an editorial correction about my last bear post.  I said that cubs stay with their mothers for up to 2 years, when in fact they can stay with them for up to 3 years.  I feel shamed.  Anyway, back to the fun bear facts.

 

How fast can a Brown Bear run?

Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3

1/125 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 400

Brown Bears can run between 35 to 40 mph, and they can get up to that speed incredibly quickly.  Good news is that they can’t maintain that speed for long, only about 3 km.  If you come in contact with one and are thinking about running remember Usain Bolt, the guy who recently broke the olympic record in the 100 meter, ran 24 mph.  So… good luck.

 

What’s the difference between a Brown Bear and a Grizzly Bear?

Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3

1/80 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 500

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Location, location, location.  They are the same species, Ursus arctos.  Along the coast U. arctos is known as a Brown Bear.  Once you go 100 miles inland you start calling them Grizzly.  Sure, they kind of look different.  The Grizzly is slightly larger, and has a larger hump on its shoulders, but that comes from a different food source, not genetics.

 

How can you tell the difference between a Brown (Grizzly) Bear, Black Bear and Polar Bear?

Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3

 1/80 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 400
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Is it brown bears are brown, black bears black, polar bears white? No.  Brown Bears can be brown, black, cinnamon, or blonde.  Black bears can be black, brown, cinnamon, white or even a shade of blue! Polar Bears, are pretty much just white.  Black bears are the smallest, then brown/grizzly, and Polar bears are the largest.  In order to tell the difference you really have to know the difference in head shape and body type as well as location.  Everyone asks me if there are Polar Bears everywhere in Alaska.  Unfortunately no, that would be cool though.  Polar bears are technically considered marine mammals due to the amount of time they spend in the water.  They are only found along the coast of the Arctic Ocean and along the coast of the Hudson Bay, which is actually pretty far south.

 

Are Bears smart?

Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3

 1/125 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 500
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Brilliant!  It was recently discovered that Brown Bears are the only other non-primate animal to use tools.  A Brown Bear was found taking a rock and rubbing it on it’s head.  That doesn’t sound like much but that kind of thing never happens in the wild.  Never.  He was possibly using it to get mud and dirt out of his hair.  At the very least he was using it it scratch an itch.

Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3

 1/160 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 500
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