Difference Between Kodiak and Grizzly Bear

Kodiak vs Grizzly Bear

Kodiak and Grizzly bears are members of the same species Ursus arctos, and they resemble each other except for few characteristics. Those few facts are important to know as those would lead anyone to understand the difference between two very closely related and resembling bears that both live in North America.

Kodiak Bear

Kodiak bear, Ursus arctos middendorffi, is the largest of the sixteen subspecies of the Brown bear. Kodiak is known by many names such as the Alaskan grizzly bear, American brown bear, or the Kodiak brown bear. The name Kodiak bear brings a specialty to them as this subspecies is confined to the Kodiak archipelago in Alaska. After some serious evolutionary studies, the scientists believe that Kodiaks had been genetically isolated after the last ice age, which took place about 10,000 years ago.

The colouration of Kodiak bear’s coat is much similar to the grizzly bears as it has a typical brown colour, but females and some males may be either blonde or orange colours on the coat. Size and weight are the most intriguing feature of the Kodiaks as they range from 225 to 680 kilograms. The females usually range around 225 – 315 kilograms, while males range their weight from 360 – 635 kilograms with some are reaching up to 680 kilograms. The largest recorded Kodiak male, lived in the Dakota Zoo, had weighed over 1,000 kilograms. They are very slow in their reproductive rate as they deliver a litter averagely only once in every four years. The litter size is 2 – 3 cubs, but one Kodiak sow can care for about six cubs at a time, which is mainly because they look after others cubs, as well. Until they are about 20 years old, sows are reproductively viable, and they die when they are about 25 years old in wild.

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly bear, Ursus arctos horribilis, is also known as North American brown bear or silvertip bear. Grizzly is a sub species of the brown bear that lives in uplands of North America. An adult male is about 180 to 360 kilograms in weight and a female have about 130 to 200 kilograms of weight. The average body length of a Grizzly is about 198 centimetres and the height to the shoulders averages around 102 centimetres. Grizzly bear has a typical brown coloured fur with white tips. One of the better distinguishing features of them is the pronounced hump on the Grizzly’s shoulders. The face is dished shape, and there is a clear depression between eyes and the end of the nose.

Male Grizzly bears are highly territorial, and they maintain large territories that are ranging up to 4,000 square kilometres. They are omnivorous animals and usually they are solitary and active animals. Their reproductive rates are slow and a female produces a litter that varies from one to four offspring in every other year.

Kodiak vs Grizzly Bear

• Grizzly and Kodiak are two subspecies of the Brown bear.

• Kodiak is much larger than Grizzlies in their body sizes.

• The population size is larger in Grizzly than in Kodiak.

• Kodiaks are endemic to the Kodiak archipelago, whereas Grizzly is found in a larger geographical area of entire Alaska, North-Western US, and western Canada.

• Reproductive rate is slow in both subspecies, but Kodiak has a slower rate than Grizzly.

• Territorial behaviour is more prominent among Grizzly individuals than among Kodiaks.