Anonymous

How Do You Tell The Difference Between A Black Bear And A Grizzly Bear?

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7 Answers

Patricia Devereux Profile
The territories of the American black bear (Ursus americanus) and grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) overlap, and knowledge of the species' differences may save your life.
There are three telltale physical characteristics used to distinguish a grizzly from a black bear: a prominent hump between the front shoulders, long front claws, and the shape of the head.

Most adult grizzlies have a prominent hump of muscle mass between their front shoulders. Black bears lack a distinct hump. The long front claws of a grizzly can be difficult to see. The claws of an adult can be longer than a human's fingers. Black bear claws are generally only 2-3 inches long.

A grizzly has a flatter, dish-shaped face than a black bear's prominent, dog-like profile. A grizzly's forehead is usually concave; a black bear's face is straight and long, and from the front, the face and forehead appear round. Fur color and size are not good methods for identification. Grizzlies may be any shade of brown, from blond to nearly black. Some have silver-tipped fur. Black bears, despite their name, are rarely black, and can be brown, cinnamon-red, or blond.

A full-grown black bear can weigh 100 to 300 pounds, while an adult grizzly weighs 200 to 700 pounds. So size is not a good indicator of the species.Black bears are primarily adapted to forested areas and their edges and to clearings. Grizzlies make much more use of large, non-forested meadows and valleys.Behaviorally, black bears are generally much less aggressive than grizzlies, often climbing trees to escape perceived threats. Grizzlies are more aggressive than black bears and much more likely to attack.
LJ Bee Profile
LJ Bee answered
It is a common myth that Black bears are all black and Brown bears (to which the Grizzly is a subspecies) are all brown.

Blonde Black bear


Cinnamon Black bear


Skagway Black bear

Blonde Grizzly (Brown bear)

There is even a blue variety of Brown bear subspecies called the Tibetan blue bear (pictured below).

The best way to tell them apart is that the Brown bear has larger shoulders, therefore, is higher at the shoulders. The Black bear, on the other hand, is higher at the rump (hind-quarters). I say this is the best way because you can more often observe this from a safer distance. It is the most obvious difference. The Black bear usually has taller ears as well. This, however, is not always a given. I have seen exceptions to this "ear rule."
The Black bear also has a "Roman nose" versus the Brown bear which has a more dished face (chiseled between brow and muzzle). When looking at their footprints, the Brown bear has longer claws which form a semi-circle (like a dotted dome) in front of the toes, while a Black bear has a straight line of dots in front of the toes. The Black bear's claws are more curved for climbing while the Brown bear's claws are longer and straighter, more useful for digging.
SIVAH. ADHARSH. Profile
SIVAH. ADHARSH. answered
The territories of the American black bear (Ursus americanus) and
grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) overlap, and knowledge of the
species' differences may save your life.

There are three telltale physical characteristics used to distinguish a
grizzly from a black bear: A prominent hump between the front
shoulders, long front claws, and the shape of the head.

Most adult grizzlies have a prominent hump of muscle mass between their
front shoulders. Black bears lack a distinct hump. The long front claws
of a grizzly can be difficult to see. The claws of an adult can be
longer than a human's fingers. Black bear claws are generally only 2-3
inches long.

A grizzly has a flatter, dish-shaped face than a black bear's
prominent, dog-like profile. A grizzly's forehead is usually concave; a
black bear's face is straight and long, and from the front, the face
and forehead appear round. Fur color and size are not good methods for
identification. Grizzlies may be any shade of brown, from blond to
nearly black. Some have silver-tipped fur. Black bears, despite their
name, are rarely black, and can be brown, cinnamon-red, or blond.

A full-grown black bear can weigh 100 to 300 pounds
Georgina Hall Profile
Georgina Hall answered
Black bears are black
grizzly bears are brown
helen baillie-gutteridge Profile
If you climb a tree to get away from a bear, the black bear will climb up after you. A grizzly will stand up and shake the tree until you fall out.
Tom Profile
Tom answered
All this is true. An easier way: If you run into a bear and climb a tree, it's a black bear if he climbs up after you and eats you, it's a grizzly bear if he knocks the tree down and eats you. ;+)

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