Polar Bear vs Grizzly Bear Size, Height, Skull Updated 2022

Polar bear vs Grizzly bear

Polar bears are stocky animal species with relatively small heads, short, rounded ears, short tails, and long necks. In contrast, grizzly bears are giant, large brown to light tan-colored animals. They possess short, rounded ears, large shoulder humps, and dish-shaped faces. Although both animals have unique characters, people still get confused about them. There is no need to worry because this blog post provides exciting facts and information comparing grizzly and polar bears. 

Polar bear vs Grizzly bear

Polar bears

Grizzly bears

  • These bears are seen in the North Pole, North of Arctic Circle, South of Arctic Circle in Canada’s Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Svalbard, Greenland, Russia, Canada, and Alaska. They primarily inhabit islands, water, arctic sea ice and continental coastlines. 
  • These animal species are present in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Southern Colorado, Alaska, Western Canada, Mexico, Pacific Ocean, Mississippi, and Wyoming. They inhabit prairies, alpine meadows, rivers, streams, forests and woodlands. 
  • They have an average body length of seven to eight feet with tails about 3 to 5 inches long. In addition to this, their males possess 550 to 1,700 pounds weight, while females with 330 to 650 pounds are three times lighter. 
  • Their bodies have an average length of 1 to 2.8 meters with tails about 2.6 to 8 inches long, reaching 2.4 meters height when standing upright on hind limbs. The females weigh about 800 pounds, and the males weigh 1,700 pounds.
  • Although Polar bears are known to exist in the Arctic Basin area in low densities, there are almost 19 recognized species of these bears.  
  • There are two primary grizzly bears’ subspecies alive today, such as larger Kodiak bears and the mainland grizzly bears. Since the last ice age, these two subspecies have been evolutionary distinct.
  • These bears can swim longer distances of up to 6mph for several hours, getting from one piece of ice to another. They possess specially adapted large paws for swimming, using them to paddle through the water. The thick fat layer keeps them warm while swimming in water. 
  • These animal species are the fast runner and excellent swimmers that can reach speeds as high as 35 mph. Although young ones can climb trees to avoid danger, this ability gets fade on becoming bigger. Their special behavioral adaptions help them survive during changing seasons.
  • Polar bears love to eat ringed seals and feed on a variety of other animals, including harbor and hooded seals, harp seals, bearded seals, beluga, narwhal, walrus, and marine mammal carcasses.  
  • Grizzly bears feed on carrion (roadkill and various dead animals), fish, small rodents, berries, grasses, tubers, roots, various flowering plants, nuts, seaweed, other meat sources and human garbage that are quickly accessible.
  • They possess an excellent sense of smell that helps them detect and catch prey. For example, a polar bear appears to smell a seal from almost 1 meter under the snow and 1 kilometer away.
  • They can quickly smell any animal on the land. For example, a blood hound smells 300 times better than dogs, but a grizzly bear can smell almost 2,100 times better than a human or seven times better than blood hounds. 
  • Polar bears get to communicate each other through smell, touch and sight. In addition to this, they do mouthing or touching around each other’s face to get contacted.  
  • Grizzly bears get to communicate each other using smells, movements and sounds. They grunt, moan or growl when females communicate with young ones during mating.
  • The breeding of these bears primarily takes place from March to June but mainly occurs during April and May. A female polar gets accompanied by three young males before mating and breeds once every three years.
  • The mating season of these bears starts from May to June. Their females breed every 3 to 4 years and can have cubs between 4.5 and 10 years of age after becoming sexually mature. 
  • These animal species can live from 25 to 30 years. One species named Debby appeared to live for 42 years. 
  • Like other animal species, the grizzly bears also live for a specific period of time. They live for almost 25 years.
  • They show less aggressive behavior than other bear species, tending to run away rather than fight their attackers. The stuffed polar bears only attack humans if provoked.
  • If we talk about polar bears’ aggressive behavior, they have comparatively more anger than other bears when protecting their offspring and themselves.


Sometimes people get confused and ask questions to know more about polar and grizzly bears, comparing them. Therefore, the answers to some of those questions are as given below;

Would a polar bear beat a grizzly bear?

If both polar and grizzly bears are competing with each other for food, it is evident that the grizzly bears would win. It happens because the polar bears are slightly less aggressive than grizzly bears and would escape from the situation, protecting themselves. 

Polar bear vs Grizzly bear

What is the difference between a grizzly and a polar bear?

They both have adapted special features to survive in various places, they live. For example, the grizzly bears do not tend to stay in snow and ice, while polar bears possess white-colored fur that helps them blend in the Arctic Circle’s ice and snow.

Do grizzly bears eat humans?

Researches have shown that grizzly bears eat humans. They do not attack humans to make them prey but defend themselves. It is why many hikers use bear bells, making noise while hiking. 

What are polar bears afraid of?

Like other animal species, polar bears should also get afraid of some predators. There are no primary predators of these powerful and largest carnivores on lands, not even humans, making them very dangerous bears.

Why are polar bears going extinct?

The polar bears are becoming extinct due to various human threats, including gas drilling and global warming to oil. The food sources and habitat are also at more significant risks. According to the IUCN Red list, these species have been declared critically endangered.

What threatens grizzly?

These animal species were threatened with extinction, as their habitats were destroyed by oil and gas drilling, land development, mining and logging. In addition to this, human-caused mortality is the greatest threat to these grizzly bears; they must be kept safe.


Various animal species are present throughout the world, each possessing unique characters and identifications. But they all are slightly different from each other, as the grizzly and polar bears are. This blog post has provided you with exciting facts and information that are enough to make you clear about the similarities and differences of these animal species. 

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