Grizzlies are solitary, active animals, but in coastal areas, the grizzly congregates alongside streams, lakes, rivers, and ponds during the salmon spawn. Every other year, females (sows) produce one to four young (most commonly two). A female grizzly is very protective of her cubs and will attack if she feels that she and/or the cubs are threatened.
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This article contains plot details from one or more of the books.
Most female grizzlies weigh 150–350 kilograms (330–770 lb), while males weigh on average 230–450 kilograms (510–990 lb). Newborn cubs may weigh less than 500 grams (1 lb). Although variable from blond to nearly black, grizzly bear fur is typically brown in color with white, silvery tips. They also have a hump on their shoulders called the sagittal crest.
In the Wolves of the BeyondThunderheart because of her thundering heartbeat. She raises him like a bear cub, teaching the pup to fish like a bear and stand on his hind legs. While she is hibernating, there is a huge earthquake. Faolan was not in the den, and while searching for him, Thunderheart died from a boulder crushing her. The impact split her spine. Faolan's biological mother, Morag, found her later on and silently thanked her for raising her pup, hoping she would go to the bears' Cave of Souls, Ursulana.
In Watch Wolf a bear cub, named Toby, gets cubnapped by the MacHeath Clan in order to start a war between the Wolves of the Watch and the Grizzly Bears. The MacHeaths take Toby to the Pit with Old Cags, a foaming-mouth wolf. Toby gets rescued by Faolan, Edme, and Arthur. Sadly, Arthur is killed by Old Cags. They make it back in time to stop the war.
Faolan saves a bear cub and her mother, who was trapped in false hibernation, from an Outclanner.
Notable Grizzly Bears
In the Real World
In North America, grizzly bears previously ranged from Alaska to Mexico and as far east as the Hudson Bay area. In North America, the species is now found only in Alaska, south through much of western Canada, and into portions of the northwestern United States including Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming, extending as far south as Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, but is most commonly found in Canada. On occasion, bears head into Minnesota or Michigan.
In Canada, there are approximately 25,000 grizzly bears occupying British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nuvavut and the northern part of Manitoba.
Combining Canada and the United States, grizzly bears inhabit approximately half the area of their historical range. The grizzly bear currently has legal protection in Mexico, European countries, some areas of Canada and in the United States. However, it is expected that repopulating its former range will be a slow process, due to a variety of reasons including the reintroduction of competing predators to these areas, the effects of reintroducing such a large animal to areas prized for agriculture and livestock, and due to the bear's slow reproductive habits. There are currently about 55,000 wild grizzly bears located throughout North America.
Brown bears (of which the grizzly bear is a subspecies) can live up to 30 years in the wild, though 20 to 25 is normal.
Grizzly bears have one of the lowest reproductive rates of all mammals in North America. This is due to numerous ecological factors. Grizzlies do not reach sexual maturity until they are at least five years old.
After mating with a male grizzly in the summer, the female delays embryo implantation until hibernation. On average, females produce two cubs in a one litter and the mother cares for the cubs for up to two years, during which the mother will not mate. Once the young leave or are killed, females may not produce another litter for three or more years, depending on environmental conditions.
DietPlants make up approximately 80–90% of a grizzly bear's diet. various berries make up a large portion of this. These can include blueberries, blackberries, salmon berries, cranberries, buffalo berries , and huckleberries, depending on the environment. Insects such as ladybugs, ants and bees are eaten if they are available in large quantities. At low quantities, the energy gained is not worth the foraging energy output. When food is abundant, grizzly bears will feed in groups. For example, many grizzly bears will visit meadows right after there has been an avalanche or glacier slide.
In preparation for winter, bears can gain approximately 400 lb (180 kg).,The bear often waits for a substantial snowstorm before it enters its den. The dens are typically at elevations above 1,800 meters (5,900 ft) on north-facing slopes. There is some debate amongst professionals as to whether grizzly bears technically hibernate: much of this debate revolves around body temperature and the ability of the bears to move around during hibernation on occasion. Grizzlies can also "partially" recycle their body wastes during this period. In some areas where food is plentiful year round, grizzly bears may skip hibernation altogether.
The grizzly bear has several relationships with its ecosystem. One such relationship is a mutualistic relationship with fleshy-fruit bearing plants. After the grizzly consumes the fruit, the seeds are dispersed and excreted in a germinable condition. Some studies have shown germination success is indeed increased as a result of seeds being deposited along with nutrients in feces. This makes grizzly bears important seed distributors in their habitats.
While foraging for tree roots, plant bulbs, or ground squirrels, bears stir up the soil. This process not only helps grizzlies accesstheir food, but also increases species richness in alpine ecosystems. An area that contains both bear digs and undisturbed land has greater plant diversity than an area that contains just undisturbed land. Along with increasing species richness, soil disturbance causes nitrogen to be dug up from lower soil layers, and makes nitrogen more readily available in the environment. An area that has been dug by the grizzly bear has significantly more nitrogen than an undisturbed area.
Grizzlies directly regulate prey populations and also help prevent overgrazing in forests by controlling the populations of other species in the food chain. An experiment in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in the United States showed removal of wolves and grizzly bears caused populations of their herbivorous prey to increase. This, in turn, changed the structure and density of plants in the area, which decreased the population sizes of migratory birds. This provides evidence grizzly bears represent a keystone predator, having a major influence on the entire ecosystem they inhabit.
Contact with Humans
Grizzlies are considered by some bear experts to be the most aggressive bears, even by the standards of brown bears. Aggressive behavior in grizzly bears is favored by numerous selection variables. Unlike the black bear, adult grizzlies are too large to escape danger by climbing trees, so they respond to danger by standing their ground and warding off their attackers. Increased aggressiveness also assists female grizzlies in better ensuring the survival of their young to reproductive age. Mothers grizzles are very protective of their cubs and will attack at any risk. Historically, bears have also fought with other large predators for food, which also favors increased aggression.Grizzly bears normally avoid contact with people. In spite of their obvious physical advantages and many opportunities, they almost never view humans as prey; bears rarely actively hunt humans. Most grizzly bear attacks result from a bear that has been surprised at very close range, especially if it has food to protect, or female grizzlies protecting their cubs. In these situations, property may be damaged and the bear may harm the person.
Exacerbating this is the fact that intensive human use of grizzly habitat coincides with the seasonal movement of grizzly bears. An example of this spatiotemporal intersection occurs during the fall season: grizzly bears congregate near streams to feed on salmon when anglers are also intensively using the river. Some grizzly bears appear to have learned to home in on the sound of hunters' gunshots in late fall as a source of potential food, and inattentive hunters have been attacked by bears trying to appropriate their kills.
Increased human-bear interaction has created "problem bears", which are bears that have become adapted to human activities or habitat. Aversive conditioning, a method involving using deterrents such as rubber bullets, foul-tasting chemicals or acoustic devices to teach bears to associate humans with negative experiences, is ineffectual when bears have already learned to positively associate humans with food.