I'm pretty sure that a full grown Moose weighs more, and is bigger than a full grown Bear. Except maybe for our @bear, of course.
I was driving down a road in Alaska and a moose decided to jump out of the woods and run down the road, in my lane, going the same direction. He was only doing about 30 or so, I was doing more like 70. It took forever for my car to slow down. I was looking at the north end of a southbound moose for what seemed like forever.
The default "bear" in North America is the black bear, which is a very common animal. Much more common even than moose, which aren't exactly rare either.
So when you read that "bears" are much less common than moose, and you unconsciously apply your North American defaults, you could find that strange.
Joined: Mar 05, 2008
That makes sense. But the part about "what they call 'brown bear' in Norway is what we'd call "grizzly bear" in North America" seemed confusing - it made it sound like there's a difference in terminology, when in fact there isn't. We refer to grizzlies because that's the specific subspecies we have in North America - well, that and Kodiak, and various extinct relatives. "Grizzly" does not refer to any bear native to Norway. But they're still brown bears, and distinct from black bears. I think your point would have been clearer with something like: "note that the article refers to brown bears (big rare things like grizzlies), not black bears"
Thomas McNamee's fascinating book "The Grizzly Bear" explains it like this:
"The North American grizzly bear and the Eurasian brown bear are considered members of the same species, Ursus arctos, because they meet the standard biological criterion of being able to interbreed and produce fertile young."
As the Wikipedia article points out, there are various subspecies on each side of the Atlantic (or Pacific). Black bears are a different species, but some "brown" bears may be almost black in colour, while others are almost blonde, which is why relying on colour to identify the species is not sufficient.
chris webster wrote:which is why relying on colour to identify the species is not sufficient.
When I was in Yellowstone Park when I was a child (that was many years ago) the park ranger explained to us that the way to distinguish black bear from grizzly bear was that the molar teeth of the grizzly were over 1 inch in length.
Paul Clapham wrote:When I was in Yellowstone Park when I was a child (that was many years ago) the park ranger explained to us that the way to distinguish black bear from grizzly bear was that the molar teeth of the grizzly were over 1 inch in length.