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Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis).—Stephen J. Krasemann/Peter Arnold, Inc.
Large North American brown bear whose forms, including the Alaskan brown bears, are usually considered races or subspecies of a single species (Ursus arctos). The more than 80 forms once ranged over open regions of western North America from Mexico to Alaska, but their numbers have dwindled. Grizzlies have humped shoulders, an elevated forehead, and brownish to buff fur. They may grow to about 8 ft (2.5 m) long and weigh 900 lbs (410 kg). One variety, the Kodiak bear, is the largest living land carnivore, reaching lengths of more than 10 ft (3 m) and a weight of 1,700 lbs (750 kg). Grizzlies feed on game, fish, berries, and occasionally grass. They have been known to attack humans and are prized as big game.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on grizzly bear, visit Britannica.com.