Polar Bear vs. Grizzly Bear: Major Differences

Julia | 02 - 03 - 2024
Polar Bear vs Grizzly Bear Major Differences

Polar bears and grizzly bears are the most popular bears. They attract many people because of their unique abilities and big size. How well do you know these majestic animals’ abilities and powers? Polar bears are incredible creatures with the usual characteristics. Grizzly bears are a subspecies of the brown bear, which can be found in Northern America. They are known for their larger size, weight, and aggressive nature. Let’s learn more about these two amazing creatures through our polar bear vs grizzly bear trivia questions. You can also choose your favorite one if you haven’t decided!

Polar Bear vs Grizzly Bear

We have rounded up the most fascinating facts about a polar bear and grizzly bears.

Animals  Grizzly Bear Polar Bear
Family Ursidae Ursidae
Kingdom Animalia Animalia
Average Length 6.5 ft 7 ft 10 inch – 9 feet ten inches
Average Tail 5 cm 7 to 13 cm
Average height 102 cm 133 cm
Class Mammalia Mammalia
Area Asia, Canada, Europe and North America Norway, Newfoundland island, United States, Canada, Denmark, Russia, Arctic
Habitat Near Alaska dense close to the coast and continental US Humid continental, arctic, sub, and arctic circle
Order Omnivore, Carnivora Carnivora
Stamina 5 5
Teeth Sharp and large incisor teeth Canines are sharper, more jagged, and larger
Weight 80 to 360 kg 350 to 700 kg
Average life Males 22 years and females 26 years Over 25 years

The Ultimate Comparison Between Polar Bears and Grizzly Bears

  • Polar bears are bigger than grizzly bears. They have more powerful paws and sharp teeth whereas grizzly bears are more aggressive, robust, and have a stronger bone structure than polar bears.
  • Polar bears have thinner and longer skulls than grizzly bears. The grizzly bears are heavy, short, and have thick heads, and robust shoulder structures. 
  • Grizzly bears’ teeth are around 3 inches, often used to damage their prey. Polar bears have sharp teeth, mainly used for catching food and for aggressive behavior. Polar bears have a strong bite force. 
  • Grizzly bears use their strong claws as a weapon. They use them for digging roots and grounds. Polar bears have a curved, thick, non-retractile claw that is used for grasping prey and running or climbing on ice. 
  • Both bears are heavy. Grizzly bears weigh 700 pounds. Male polar bears weigh between 770 pounds to over 1,300 pounds.
  • Both bears’ heads are stronger because of their thick bones all around. Their skulls can deflect rifle bullets.
  • It is a common misconception that grizzly bears are slow and big. They are fast and big with a speed of 35mph whereas polar bears can run up to about 40 kph.
  • Which animal is strong? Comparing the strength of both grizzly bears and polar bears helps us understand which one is stronger. If you ask anyone who would win: grizzly bear or polar bear, the answer is more evident. Grizzly bears are more likely to beat polar bears in the battle for survival.

Polar Bear vs. Grizzly Bear: Physical Differences

Polar Bear vs Grizzly Bear Physical Differences

Physical traits such as body color, height, speed, and size vary among both polar bears and grizzly bears. Some physical differences between both are listed below. 

What is the grizzly bear family called?
  • A. Ursidae
  • B. Canidae
  • C. Mustelidae
  • D. Felidae
  • The overall length of the polar bear is around 2.4 to 3 meters compared to Grizzly bears with 1.4 to 2.8 m in length. 
  • Polar bears are not white, they have black skin which appears white once sun rays reflect on them. They are visible in colors like yellow, orange, gray, and even green. On the other hand, grizzly bear skin color ranges from brown to black. 
  • The skull and nose of polar bears are longer compared to grizzly bears. 
  • Grizzly bears have long ears and legs compared to polar bears. 
  • Polar and grizzly bears have the same number of teeth around 42. 

Polar Bear vs. Grizzly Bear Behavior

Polar Bear vs Grizzly Bear Behavior

The behavior of polar and grizzly bears varies a lot. The males are not concerned with raising the cubs in both species. Both polar and grizzly bears walk on their hind legs. Most grizzly bears are territorial, however, polar bears are not. 

The polar bears are generally carnivores, while grizzly bears are omnivores. Both of them have a life expectancy of around 25 years. Do you know the smartest species in the world? If not, check these six animals that are smarter than you. 

Hunting the Prey: Polar Bear vs. Grizzly Bear

Hunting the Prey

Both polar and grizzly bears are powerful predators. The polar bear grows a longer snout and has paddle-like paws that help them in hunting seals. They patiently wait until they see a seal and use their sense of smell and sharp teeth to hunt the prey. 

The best food for grizzly bears includes army cutworm moths, cutthroat trout, whitebark pine, and more. They prey on young elk and bison during the spring season. During summer, they like to eat ants, clover, and honeydew-rich grasses. They depend significantly on plants, unlike polar bears. 

Polar Bear and Grizzly Bear Hybridization

Polar Bear and Grizzly Bear Hybridization

The polar bears reproduce by mating within their community. Most males mate with an adult female polar bear that reproduces once every three years. 

Grizzly bears undergo sexual reproduction starting from May and extending upto July. In the mating season, the opposite genders of grizzly bears approach each other. Most female grizzly bears give birth after 180 to 250 days. 

The California government added the grizzly bear to their state flag in 1911. Do you know when the grizzly bear go extinct in California? After the arrival of Europeans, the population of California rose. Later, residents were threatened by giant grizzly bears and they started hunting them eventually leading to extinction. 

Which One Would Win in a Fight?

Have you think who will win a fight between polar and grizzly bears as both have powerful muscle strength? The polar bear possesses sharp teeth and powerful paws that indicate they would win a fight. But grizzly bears have the same features that make them more competitive. They have robust body and bone structure that allows them to fight against competitors. 

The skull of a polar bear is thinner and longer. On the other hand, grizzly bears have heavy, shorter, and thicker skull. Due to this feature, they are more powerful compared to polar bears. It is hard to decide who will win the fight between them because both have distinctive qualities. 

Both polar and grizzly bears possess several characteristics that make them distinctive. Hope you have an idea about physical traits, hybridization, and behavior comparison between both species.

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