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Grizzly bear

By:
, , and
Edited by:
G. Feldhamer, B. Thompson, and J. Chapman

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Abstract

The grizzly bear inspires fear, awe, and respect in humans to a degree unmatched by any other North American wild mammal. Like other bear species, it can inflict serious injury and death on humans and sometimes does. Unlike the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) of the sparsely inhabited northern arctic, however, grizzly bears still live in areas visited by crowds of people, where presence of the grizzly remains physically real and emotionally dominant. A hike in the wilderness that includes grizzly bears is different from a stroll in a forest from which grizzly bears have been purged; nighttime conversations around the campfire and dreams in the tent reflect the presence of the great bear. Contributing to the aura of the grizzly bear is the mixture of myth and reality about its ferocity. unpredictable disposition, large size, strength, huge canines, long claws, keen senses, swiftness, and playfulness. They share characteristics with humans such as generalist life history strategies. extended periods of maternal care, and omnivorous diets. These factors capture the human imagination in ways distinct from other North American mammals. Precontact Native American legends reflected the same fascination with the grizzly bear as modern stories and legends (Rockwell 1991).

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Book chapter
Publication Subtype:
Book Chapter
Title:
Grizzly bear
Edition:
Second edition
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Contributing office(s):
Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description:
31 p.
Larger Work Type:
Book
Larger Work Subtype:
Monograph
Larger Work Title:
Wild Mammals of North America.
First page:
556
Last page:
586
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N