Also known as the Grizzly bear in the United States, the Brown bear is found as different sub species all around the world. There are so many Brown bear facts for kids to learn, it is hard to know where to begin. Brown bears live in forests, mountains, tundra, highlands, open fields and semi-desert regions across Canada, Asia, Europe and central parts of the United States.
Look At Me!
The brown bear has a distinctive feature that allows you to tell it apart from other species of bears. It has a hump on its shoulders. The brown bear’s shoulder muscles are extremely strong and it uses this muscle power along with its long, sharp claws to tear apart fallen logs and dig up roots while searching for food or making its den. The muscles of the shoulders are located inside this distinctive hump.
Photo Credit: Scott Calleja (CC License)
Where’s The Food
Looking at brown bears you would think they are only carnivorous or meat eaters. On the contrary, brown bears thrive on a rich and varied diet. They consume fruit, grass, roots, insects and plant bulbs. However, the brown bear is not averse to satiating its hunger with carrion. In case food is scarce and the bear is really hungry, it can hunt small animals. If brown bears live along coastal waters or rivers, they hunt for fish, especially salmon. These coastal brown bears are quite large and spectacular to look at because they eat a lot of protein in the form of fish.
My Winter Sleep
Brown bears tend to hibernate during winters. As the weather changes and gets cold, the brown bear heads to its den. During spring and fall, it consumes as much food as possible to build up body fat, which sustains it during the hibernation.
When a brown bear hibernates, its heart rate falls from 40 beats per minute to an amazing 8 beats per minute. During this winter sleep, all bodily functions of the heart slow down and the bear survives on its body fat, as it does not wake up to feed.
Usually, during hibernation, female brown bears are pregnant and they give birth during their winter sleep. After birth, the cubs feed on their mother’s milk.
Photo Credit: Sharon Mollerus (CC License)
Baby and I
A female brown bear gives birth to anywhere from one to five cubs. During the first year, bear cubs survive just on mother’s milk. However, nearly 50 percent of the cubs do not make it beyond their first year.
Bear cubs are preyed upon by other animals, such as wolves, mountain lions and even adult male brown bears. The cubs are easy prey when they’re separate from their mothers, who otherwise protect and guard them ferociously. However, most cubs die due to disease or starvation.
Fun Facts about Brown Bears
- Not all brown bears are brown in color. You also can find brown bear that are black or cream in color
- Brown bears are omnivorous and even eat garbage if the opportunity arises!
- Brown bears use their sharp and extremely long claws to dig up their den, which they use to hibernate during winters
- A female brown bear looks after her cubs for three years before they venture out on their own
- A male brown bear weighs up to 1400 pounds, while a female weighs up to 1000 pounds
European Brown Bear
Photo Credit: William Warby (CC License)
For more interesting facts about brown bears for kids: