Natural History

Brown Bear (aka Grizzly or Kodiak Bear)

posted: 05/04/13
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BROWN BEAR, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, Kodiak Island, Alaska | Photo Caption: Excerpted from North America: A World in One Continent by Huw Cordey | ARKive Animal Profile: Brown Bear
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The brown bears of Kodiak Island, off the coast of Alaska, are some of the largest bears in the world. But despite their size, these bears can be amazingly graceful swimmers. Not many bears chose to catch their salmon in a deep lake, but a handful do, and we were able to film, for the first time ever, exactly how they do it.

Our cameraman, Nick Guy, came up with a remote-control floating camera in a submarine-shaped casing that was capable of going underwater. We had wondered whether the bears went down feet first, but the sub confirmed that they dived head first to depths of up to twenty feet (6 m) and picked up fish with their paws, before returning, back legs tucked underneath, to the surface.

All the bears were females and had refined diving skills that are rare in bears. They were driven to learn these new skills in order to feed their cubs. Being able to go up and down into the lake helps both mother and cub to fatten up before hibernation.

MORE GRIZZLY BEARS: Grizzly Safety Quiz | Great Bear Facts | What's Bear Personality Are You? | Grizzly Bear Calendar | A History of the Grizzly Bear | GREAT BEAR STAKEOUT

EXPLORE THE FROZEN NORTH: Tree Frog | Black Bear | Caribou | Gray Wolf | Brown Bear | Garter Snake | Bald Eagle | Elk | Chipmunk | Beaver | All North American Animals

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