Kodiak Bear Size: How Big Are They Compared To The Giant Grizzlies | Kidadl


Kodiak Bear Size: How Big Are They Compared To The Giant Grizzlies

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

The Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi) is a brown bear subspecies (Ursus arctos).

They live on the Kodiak Archipelago, on Kodiak Island in southwest Alaska. They have the appearance of grizzly bears, although they are much larger.

Brown bears are divided into subspecies or populations, with the Kodiak bear being the largest. It is also one of the two largest bear species alive today, with the enormous polar bear.

Kodiaks are healthy and productive. They have a relatively pure ecosystem and fish populations that are adequately managed. The number of bears remains steady in most areas, although the bear density is growing in some areas. The only bears which are larger than Kodiaks are polar bears.

Brown bears that live inland rather than along the shore are known as grizzly bears. They are smaller because they do not have access to the same abundant food sources as coastal brown bears. Grizzly bears, on the other hand, are more violent than typical brown bears due to their limited access to sufficient food.

Though both Kodiak bears and grizzly bears are members of the same brown bear species, they are distinct enough to be divided into two subspecies. A subspecies is a more specific classification of life than a species. Subspecies are creatures that are similar enough to be classified as members of the same species yet different enough to merit further categorization. Further, the article will let you know how Kodiak bears are significantly different from grizzlies.

If you are interested in knowing facts about bears, then check out can bears climb trees, and bear speed

How much bigger is a Kodiak bear than a grizzly?

Geographical factors have resulted in size disparities between these two subspecies.

Kodiak bears have a greater bone structure and, as a result, larger frames than grizzly bears, however, both species can grow to enormous proportions.

On its hind legs, a male Kodiak can stand over 10 ft (3 m) tall, and on all fours, it can stand over 5 ft (1.5 m) tall. On average their weight can go up to 1,500 lb (680 kg). Females are approximately 20% smaller and 30% lighter than males.

When standing on all fours, grizzlies are roughly 6.5 ft (2 m) long and a little over 3 ft (1 m) tall at the shoulder. Standing on their hind legs, these bears can grow to be around 8 ft (2.4 m) tall. Grizzly bears weigh around 400-800 lb (181.4-363 kg), the maximum they can reach up to is 1700 lb (771 kg).

Why is a Kodiak bear so big?

The enormous size of Kodiak bears is mostly a result of regional factors and geographical differences.

Kodiak bears, in general, live in a food-rich environment of the Kodiak Islands which is very suitable for the wildlife during summer and winter both, thus the bear has a greater bone structure and thus larger frames than grizzly bears. The primary rich food source is salmon, which works as a rich protein and fat provider. When salmon is not available there are plenty of berries and plants on the islands for the Kodiak bear to feed on. Apart from external factors like food and climate, a huge reason for the gigantic size is the genetic code.

Various other factors lead to the massive size of the Kodiak bears. First and foremost, Bergmann's rule should be considered. This theory argues that populations of animals living in colder climates will generally be larger. Kodiak bears, who live approximately 57 degrees north, are closer to the poles than many of their near cousins. Some of the energy generated by the mitochondria in each cell is lost as heat. The greater the number of cells, the more heat is created. Insulating body fat, of course, increases weight. As a result, carrying so much mass helps keep the Kodiak bears warm in Alaska's subzero temperatures.

A vital point to keep in mind is that they hibernate in their dens for a portion of the year, after the fall, during the winter season. The majority of Kodiak bear dens are dug into mountainsides. In late October, pregnant sows are the first to begin hibernating in the dens. In April, adult males are the latest to hibernate and the first to emerge. They must gain a lot of fat in the months leading up to this period, thus their maximum weight does not necessarily reflect their weight year-round. In fact, during the summer, they can gain up to 30 % of their body weight.

The fact that Kodiak bears live an isolated lifestyle in the coastal areas of Kodiak archipelago Island, they do not face any kind of competition from other wildlife.

Kodiak brown bear walking through a stream

What is the average size of a Kodiak bear?

While studying their size, we must not fail to note that there are size differences within the same species based on their sex.

Brown bears of the Kodiak subspecies are the largest. They have a 0.78 m (78 cm) long skull.

Kodiak males can weigh up to 1,052–1,177 lb (477–534 kg) as adults, with an average weight of around 600-1,400 lb (272–635 kg ). Males (boars) reach a maximum of 1500 lb (680 kg) when they reach maturity. Females (sows) weigh between 399-701 lb (181-318 kg). Kodiak females are 20% smaller than males.

In mature male Kodiaks, the average length is roughly 8 ft (2.4 m), with a shoulder height of 4.33 ft (1.31 m). When standing on four legs, a larger species can reach a height of 4.9 ft (1.49 m) at the shoulder. When the bear stands on its hind legs, though, it can reach a height of 9.8 ft (3 m).

Are all Kodiak bears the same size?

No, as mentioned above there are size differences in the Kodiak males and females.

Sometimes it is based on whether they are boars or sows, sometimes there are exceptional cases too like the largest wild male Kodiak bear ever recorded weighed 1,656 lb (751 kg) and is on exhibit at Anchorage Airport in Alaska.

Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, North Dakota, is home to the world's largest captive Kodiak bear. The bear had the moniker Clyde and weighed 2,130 lb (966 kg). In 1987, the bear passed away.

Difference Between Kodiak And Grizzly Bears

Grizzly bears are the most frequent subspecies, and they are occasionally confused with brown bears (Ursus arctos)

The Kodiak bear's national population, on average, has a greater bone structure and, as a result, larger frames than grizzly bears, however, both species can grow to enormous sizes.

Grizzlies are however more active in the sense that they can run very fast and are proficient and active in swimming as well.

The dietary habits of the two bears are also dissimilar. Kodiak bears consume largely protein-rich salmon, but the grizzly bear eats a wide variety of foods. They are omnivores who eat berries, insects, fleshy roots, fish, other mammals, and carrion, among other things.

There is a marked difference in the temperament of the bears. Due to abundant food sources, the home ranges of Kodiak bears may support a larger population density of bears. As a result, the Kodiak bear groups have evolved a more complicated social structure and communication system to allow the bears to coexist peacefully. The grizzly bear population on the other hand generally has aggressive and intimidating behavior. In the past 75 years, just one person has been killed by a bear in Kodiak. People being killed by bears is rarely heard of but a bear injures a person every other year or so.

Grizzly And Kodiak Geographic Range

The main difference between grizzly bears and Kodiak bears is where their habitat is.

The Kodiak's range and habitat of this bear are limited to the islands of southwestern Alaska's Kodiak Archipelago. For over 1200 years, this group of bears has been isolated from mainland animals and national wildlife, allowing them to evolve into their subspecies and defined territories. The range of grizzly bears, on the other hand, is widespread. They're usually found in the inland areas of Canada's western territories, as well as southern Colorado, Alaska, Montana, Washington, Wyoming, and Idaho in the U.S.

What is the largest Kodiak bear on record?

The Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, North Dakota, was the habitat for the world's largest Kodiak bear. Clyde was a 22-year-old male bear who weighed 2,130 lb (966 kg) when he died in June 1987.

If talking about the wild bear then the biggest wild Kodiak bear ever recorded weighed 1,656 lb (751 kg). This is an adult male's size. Its hind foot was roughly 18 in (46 cm) long.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Kodiak bear's size then why not take a look at grizzly bear speed, or Kodiak bear facts

Kidadl Team
Written By
Kidadl Team

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?