THE BROWN BEAR - Characteristics, habitat and photos!

Brown bear: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a generally solitary animal. In fact, we...

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The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a generally solitary animal. Indeed, we only see him in a group when he is a baby, with his mother. The baby brown bear is usually with her for a few months or even years.

Despite its name, not all brown bears are necessarily brown. Some individuals have a slight golden tint, and others may have a grayish coat.

In this PlanetAnimal sheet, we are talking about this fascinating species which has 18 subspecies (some of which are extinct).For example, in Europe there is the European brown bear subspecies (Ursus arctos arctos), present from the Iberian Peninsula to Scandinavia and Russia. Stay with us to learn all about the physical characteristics, habitat, diet and many other curiosities of the brown bear. Happy reading!


  • America
  • Asia
  • Europe

Origin of the brown bear

The brown bear is native to Eurasia and North America, having also existed in Africa, but this subspecies is now extinct. The ancestor of the brown bear, the cave bear, was a deity for some ancient cultures.

The presence of bears in Asia and North America is very homogeneous, and the populations are not very fragmented, unlike the populations of Western Europe, most of which have disappeared, being relegated to isolated mountainous areas.In France, for example, there are a few rare specimens of brown bears in the Pyrenees (ours brun des Pyrénées).

Brown Bear Features

The brown bear is an animal that has many characteristics of carnivorous animals, such as long, sharp fangs for shredding meat and a short digestive tract. Its molars, on the other hand, are flat, ready to crush the vegetation. The weight of the male brown bear can reach 115 kg and that of the female 90 kg.

They are plantigrade, that is, they rest their feet completely on the ground to move around. They can also stand on their hind legs to see better, reach food or mark trees. They are able to climb and swim. They are animals that live a long time, between 25 and 30 years in the wild, and a few more years when they live in captivity.

Brown Bear Habitat

The favorite living places of brown bears are forests, where they can find a wide variety of food, leaves, fruits and other animals. The bear varies its use of the forest according to the season. During the day it digs into the ground to make a shallow bed, and during the fall it looks for more rocky areas. During the winter, the brown bear uses natural caves or digs them itself to hibernate.

Depending on the region where they live, they have more or less extensive territories. These territories are larger in the northern regions, both in America and in Europe. Bears that live in more temperate zones have a greater food source and need less territory because forests are generally denser in this climate.

Brown Bear Feeding

Despite its carnivorous characteristics, the brown bear has an omnivorous diet, very influenced by the time of year when plants predominate.In the spring, its diet is based on herbaceous plants and a few carcasses of other animals. In summer, when the fruits are ripe, it feeds on them. Occasionally, although very rarely, brown bears may prey on domestic livestock and continue to eat carrion, in addition to foraging for honey and ants, which they are fond of.

Before hibernation, in the fall, and to increase their fat consumption, they feed on acorns from different trees, such as beech and oak. This is the most critical time of the season, as food is scarce and their success in winter survival depends on it. Brown bears need to eat between 10 and 16 kg of food per day.

Brown bear reproduction

The female bear's heat takes place in the spring, it has two cycles that can last between one and ten days. The cubs are born in the cave where their mother spends the hibernation period, in the month of January, and spend with her about a year and a half, so the females can have cubs every two years.In general, the mother has between 1 and 3 cubs per litter.

During heat, males and females copulate with several different individuals in order to avoid infanticide by males, who are unsure whether they are their progenitors or not.

Ovulation is induced, so it only occurs if there is copulation, which increases the chances of pregnancy in the female. The egg is not implanted immediately, but remains floating in the uterus until the fall, when it is fixed and gestation actually begins, for a period of two months.

Brown Bear Hibernation

In this period, the cardiac rhythm decreases by 40 pulses per minute solo 10, the respiratory frequency drops to the limit and the temperature down to 4 ºC.

In the fall, bears go through a period of hypereating, where they take in more calories than they need for daily survival. This helps them accumulate fat and overcome hibernation, a period when the bear stops eating, drinking, urinating and defecating.Additionally, pregnant females will need energy to give birth and nurture their young until spring, when they emerge from the den.

During this period, the brown bear's heart rate decreases from 40 beats per minute to just 10, the respiratory rate decreases by half and its body temperature drops by about 4°C.

Brown Bear Pictures

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