Grizzly Bear Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: April Gwen Ellsworth

April has a master's degree in psychology and has experience teaching special populations from preschoolers to adults.

The grizzly bear is a huge, powerful animal. But is it ferocious or peaceful? What does it eat and why is it called a ''grizzly'' bear? Find out these answers and more in this lesson about the grizzly bear.

The Grizzly Bear

The grizzly bear is larger and more powerful than most other animals, but is usually not a threat to them or to people. Its instinct, or natural behavior, is to avoid people; it would rather be alone than pick a fight. However, if someone tries to take its food, hurt it, or threatens its cubs (young grizzly bears), it will defend. In fact, wolves and cougars might even give up their meals if a grizzly wants them because they know how powerful the bear is.

The grizzly bear is a strong, powerful, but generally peaceful animal.

Grizzly bears are mostly peaceful animals, preferring plants for most of their diet. They love to eat seeds, flowers, berries, roots, wild vegetables, grasses, fungi, fish, insects, and dead animals. Sometimes they eat deer and elk, and really whatever food is available. Although they prefer to be alone, grizzly bears sometimes group together in places with a lot of food, like salmon or miller moths.

Physical Characteristics

The grizzly bear gets its name from its white-tipped hairs, which make it look grizzled, meaning gray or grayish, like an older man with a gray beard. The rest of its hair is most often brown, but can also be blonde or black. Grizzly bears live in North America, in states like Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming as well as the country of Canada.

Grizzly bears are great diggers. They have long, sharp claws, and a hump of muscle on their shoulders for extra strength. Grizzlies also have large heads and faces, which curve in like a dish between the eyes, unlike your face, which curves out. They have excellent senses of smell, and can even smell food from miles away!

You might be as tall as a grizzly bear when it is on all fours, which is about four feet, but when it stands up on two legs, it can be up to seven feet tall! That is taller than almost all adults. It also weighs from around 200-800 lbs., as heavy as a baby grand piano!

The Grizzly bear has long claws, a hump on its shoulders, and a large face that curves in between the eyes.

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