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Brown bears are large mammals that live in cool mountain forests, meadows, and river valleys. These solitary bears can run up to 35 mph (56 kph) for short bursts. Widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, brown bears are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. Grizzly bears are a type of large brown bear found in the interior of North America.

Although they sleep in dens (caves, hollow logs, or holes they dig) during the winter, they are not true hibernators and can be easily awakened. Brown bears have a life span of about 25 years in the wild.

Anatomy: Brown bears are up to 7 feet (2.1 m) long and weigh up to 1,500 pounds (680 kg). Females are about 1/2 to 2/3 the size of males. Their thick fur ranges in color from black to brown to reddish brown to blond. They have dense fur close to the skin and long, coarse guard hairs. They have a big head, a long muzzle, and a large hump on their shoulder ( the hump is a mass of muscles that give the front legs extra strength). Like all bears, they are plantigrade (flat-footed). The front claws are up to 4.75 inches (12 cm), almost twice as long as the rear claws. Newborns weigh only about 1 pound (0.45 kg), the size of a rat.

Diet: Brown bears are omnivores who eat plants, roots, berries, fungi, fish, small mammals, and large insects.

Classification: Class Mammalia, Order Carnivora, Family Ursidae (bears), Genus Ursus, species arctos (grizzly bear and brown bear).

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