Ursus arctos

Brown Bear



species list





There are several subspecies and varieties of the Brown Bear, including the Kodiak or Grizzly, the largest of today's land carnivores. Brown Bears were once widespread throughout North America and Eurasia, but are now much more restricted. They were present in Britain in prehistoric times, but the timing of their extinction is difficult to estimate because of importation, especially for bear-baiting. There is little evidence for the persistence of wild bears in Britain beyond Roman times.

Order - Carnivora (meat eaters)
Suborder - Canoidea (dog-like)
Family - Ursidae (bears)

Scientific Name:
Ursus "bear" (Latin)
arctos "bear" (Greek)

Dental Formula:
U 3.1.2-4.2 L 3.1.2-4.3
Two vestigial premolars can be seen in this specimen.

Measurements:  (explained)
Condylobasal length - 360mm
Zygomatic width - 230mm

The average skull size of Kodiak bears killed by hunters in the first five years of the 21st century was 63.8cm for boars and 55.4cm for sows.  (Alaska Dept Fish & Game report)

Collection Data
Stage - Adult
Area collected - Alaska
Source - Courtesy of private collector

brown bear skull

1. Brown Bear skull, lateral view

brown bear skull

2. Brown Bear skull, ventral view

Internet Resources

Digimorph (X-Ray tomography slices)

University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web



Chestin,I.E. & Mikeshina, N. G. 1998. Variation in skull morphology of brown bears (Ursus arctos) from Caucasus; J. Mammalogy 79:118-130

Zavatsky, B. P. 1974. The Use of the Skull in Age Determination of the Brown Bear; International Conference Bear Res. and Manage. 3:275-279