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What is the Difference Between Grizzly and Polar Bears?

Polar bears weigh about double that of a grizzly so a Polar bear would win a fight. Polars bears are white vs the brown colored grizzly. Polar bears only live in the arctic circle while grizzlies are all over the US. Grizzlies eat meat and vegitaion, but Polar bears only eat meat. Polar bears are more aggressive so stay away.

 

In North America, most brown bears populations are commonly referred to as grizzly bears. The polar bear is believed to diverge from the brown bear, meaning that it has some relationship with the Grizzlies. There is even genetic proof that polar bears and brown bears can successfully breed in the wild setting.

Even with this genetic similarity, polar bears and grizzlies are adapted to live in different habitats and there are several differences in their general appearance and behaviors.

 

Behavior

Polar bears are associated with a nasty character and believed to be voraciously aggressive. Even with this, they are not territorial and would choose to run away when provoked rather than attack. These bears also dig shallow pits in the snow and sleep with their backs facing the wind when they feel like letting off steam.

Grizzly bears are solitary, territorial and active animals that would choose to attack when faced with danger. They will spend most of their time roaming in their habitats in search of food. They communicate with other grizzlies, especially for mating purposes, through growls, grunts and moans. Grizzlies are also fond of rubbing their bodies on trees to scratch and alert other bears of their presence.

 

Geographical location

Polar bears are adapted to live in the icy regions of the Arctic Circle. Polar bear populations are also found in the sub-arctic regions and countries such as Alaska, Canada, the United States, Norway and Denmark. Although polar bears can survive in warm conditions, it is stressful to them, as they are adapted to live in polar conditions.

Grizzly bears are widely spread in North America and other regions such as Canada, Europe and Asia. These bears are mainly found in woodlands, forested areas and prairies. In these habitats, they prefer areas along rivers and streams.

While still here, it is good to note that the habitats of these two bears are slowly overlapping due to climate change.

The overlapping of their habitats has two immediate results: head-on fights and survival competitions. Let check out the bear that will be favored if these two situations happen.

Fights: When climate change forces these two bears into a collision course, fights are inevitable. Being larger in size, the polar bear will definitely be favored to win the fight over the smaller Grizzly.

Competition for survival: For the case of survival, the same massive weight of the polar bear would mess it as it will require a lot of food to survive. Don’t forget that polar bears are adapted to eating exclusively meat, while the grizzly bear is omnivorous and can survive on a wide variety of foods. A polar bear, therefore, has a high chance of starving than a grizzly in case of food shortage.

 

Diet

The polar bear is a serious carnivorous that highly depends on meat for survival. Seals make the largest portion of this enormous animal’s diet, a reason why these bears have mastered every skill to hunt them.

Grizzly bears are omnivores and unlike polar bears, they survive on a wide variety of foods, including plant roots, grass, fruits, berries, etc. When on the hunt, they target animals such as fish, moose, squirrels, elk and deer.

 

Size

The polar bear is one of the biggest bear species, with a typical adult weighing around 500 kgs. The shoulder height for a polar bear in this weight range averages at 1.4 meters.

Grizzly bears are also pretty big but not as big as the polar bear. The weight of a grizzly will vary from 280kgs, although the coastal variety is always heavier due to their proteinous foods. The shoulder height for this bear is around 1 meter.

 

Color

Polar bears have white fur and this helps them camouflage in their icy environments. One interesting fact about these bears is that their skin is black and has no white pigment. This shows how crucial the fur is in helping them survive in their habitats.

Although there are many variations in the fur color of the Grizzly, they are known to mainly have gray or golden hairy fur. Grizzly bears have a silver sheen on their fur, a reason they are nicknamed silvertip bear. Most of the grizzly bears found in North America are white-tipped, giving them that grizzled look.

 

features

Other than size and body color, there are physical characteristics unique to each of these bears that you can use to differentiate them.

Polar bears are known for their robust limbs that they use to run on terrains. Their enormous feet have sharp claws that enable them to get traction when walking on icy land. Although bears generally have short tails, that of the polar bears is arguably the shortest (7-13 cm).

If this is the first time you are gearing about grizzly bears, then one feature you can rely on to identify them is the prominent hump of muscles on their shoulder. This feature, plus their long claws, enhance their digging abilities. Grizzlies also have a dished face and small rounded ears.

 

Vulnerability

Polar bears face the highest risk of population reduction due to climate change and global warming. The rising temperatures are melting down the ice in their habitats and it is becoming hard for them to cope. Climate change has forced seals to migrate to other favorable regions, leaving polar bears with very little to eat.

Grizzly bears, unlike polar bears main risk is human activities. There is a lot of poaching, for example, being carried out on this species, which is very threatening to their populations. Other human factors such as vehicle collisions are also threatening their existence.

Polar bears and grizzlies are the most closely related bear species that exist today. Even with this, there are various differences between these two predators with size being the most obvious.