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Vegetation - the Dietary Mainstay

Vegetation - the Dietary Mainstay

Vegetation is the primary bear food in northeastern Minnesota when all seasons are considered.  In April, flower parts of aspen, willow,...

Berries - a Critical Food

Berries - a Critical Food

Berries are important foods throughout the black bear range.  The most commonly eaten berries in northeastern Minnesota are sarsaparilla...

Ant Brood - an Important Food

Ant Brood - an Important Food

Ant specialists refer to ant larvae and pupae as "brood."  These digestible clumps of fat and protein are the main source of animal protein...

Hazelnuts - a Favorite Food

Hazelnuts - a Favorite Food

Hazelnuts are one of the most important and preferred bear foods in northeastern Minnesota.  Across North America, availability of hard mast...

Animal Protein

Animal Protein

Insects and animal matter are less than 10% of the annual black bear diet around Ely and across most of North America. Across America, exceptions...

Forest Tent Caterpillars

Forest Tent Caterpillars

In outbreak years, caterpillars usually hatch in May, defoliate huge areas, and pupate 5-6 weeks later in June or early July.  As the...

What do bears like to eat in a beehive?

What do bears like to eat in a beehive?

Although bears prefer immature bees, they also will eat honey, depending upon the alternatives. Honey is mostly sugar with an average composition...

Effects of Food on Survival

Effects of Food on Survival

Effects of food on cub growth and survival: Starvation is the main cause of death for black bear cubs around Ely. By fall, cubs can weigh 15 to...

Adaptations for Obtaining Food

Adaptations for Obtaining Food

A keen sense of smell Strong curved claws for climbing trees and ripping logs Strength for turning over rocks and logs to get colonial...

Limitations

Limitations

Predation:  The stocky body that gives black bears strength and minimizes heat loss makes them a poor predator.  The stocky, insulated...

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Kodiak Bears

large_brown_bear.jpgKodiak bears (Ursus arctos middendorffi) live on Kodiak Island or one of the nearby islands off the coast of southwestern Alaska. These bears can be nearly as large as polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and include the largest brown bears (Ursus arctos) on record. Sixteen of the twenty largest brown bears killed by hunters have come from the Kodiak Archipelago.

A large male can stand over 10 feet tall on his hind legs and 5 feet on all fours. A weight of 1,648 pounds was listed for one male in the Journal of Mammalogy. Females are about 20 percent smaller and 30 percent lighter than males.

Brown bears, which include Kodiak bears, live in Europe, Asia, and North America. The 3 subspecies of brown bear that live in North America are Kodiak bears, coastal brown bears (Ursus arctos gyas), and grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis).

In captivity, Kodiak bears can become even heavier than in the wild. The largest known Kodiak bear lived at the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, North Dakota. Named Clyde, he weighed 2130 pounds when he died in June 1987 at the age of 22. According to zoo director Terry Lincoln, Clyde probably weighed close to 2400 a year earlier He still had a fat layer of 9 inches when he died.

The longest lived brown bear on record was a female at Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. She produced cubs through age 41 and was euthanized at 44.

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