Brown Bears: Habitat & Diet

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

What exactly are brown bears? Are they as dangerous as movies portray them? Where do they live and what do they eat. If you are curious about these questions, read on. We've got just what you're looking for.

An Unfair Portrayal

Almost every movie made about ferocious bear attacks feature the brown bear. The most popular one being the grizzly bear. Their gargantuan size makes them a popular villain. The truth is that brown bears usually make their habitat, or places where they are found in the wild, far from people and rarely attack. Here are some true facts about the brown bear's habitat and diet.

Brown Bear Facts

The brown bear is scientifically named Ursus Arctos. They are anywhere between six to nine feet in length and weigh 300 to 1200 pounds. They are one of the largest of the bear species. Their average life span is around 25 years. The largest of brown bears is the Kodiak bear, weighing a whopping 1700 pounds. Brown bears are excellent climbers and swimmers. They can also run very fast, even though they are so large.

Adult Kodiak brown bear


Brown bears can be found in Northern Europe, Northern Asia and North America. They are the most widespread of bears. Brown bears have no natural predators. They only dig dens for their hibernation period. They are solitary animals; therefore each one requires a vast territory. They can be found in mountainous regions, forests, flat lands, meadows, the banks of rivers or streams, grasslands and even deserts. They can survive in just about any habitat. The main thing that brown bears look for in a habitat is the availability of food and finding shelter during the day.

Habitat Destruction

The habitat of brown bears has been getting smaller as humans encroach (invade) more and more over time. They are the most widespread of all the bear species in the world, but their actual habitat size has reduced drastically in the last century due to human activities. As of now, the brown bear habitat can be found stretching from Western Europe to the Middle East, Siberia, the Himalayas, Atlas Mountains, Alaska and Western Canada.

Bear Necessities

Brown bears usually migrate to follow food and are omnivorous, eating both animals and plants. About 90% of their diet is from plant based-foods, such as grass, leaves, berries, flowers, acorns and nuts. They also indulge in fruit, roots, small animals, fish (salmon), honey, fungi, grasses, insects, grubs, worms, and carrion, or meat from an already decaying animal.

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