Brown bears have the stocky, powerful build of all bears, but their skeleton is usually more strongly built than that of other members of their family. A species-specific feature is the muscular hump over the shoulders, which gives the front legs additional strength. The snout-vent length of these animals is between 100 and 280 cm, the shoulder height is about 90 to 150 cm. The tail is only about 6 to 21 cm long. The weight varies greatly depending on the distribution area, but in all populations the males are clearly heavier than the females.
Brown bears, like all bears, have a heavy, massive head with a protruding snout. The ears are prominent and rounded, while the eyes are very small. Accordingly, the sense of sight is underdeveloped, the sense of hearing is average, but the sense of smell is very well developed.
The limbs are long and strong, with the fore and hind extremities being approximately equal in length. The bones of the forearm (ulna and radius) and lower leg (tibia and fibula) are separated, which leads to a strong rotatability. The feet are large and have heavy, furry pads on the underpart. The front and hind feet each have five toes, which end in non-retractable claws up to 8 cm long. When moving, the whole sole of each foot is placed on the ground, so brown bears, like all bears, are sole-walkers.
The fur of brown bears is usually dark brown, but can take on a variety of shades. The variations range from yellow and grey-brown to different shades of brown and almost black. The coat of brown bears is generally characterised by a dense undercoat, the covering hairs are long. The coat is subject to seasonal changes, the winter coat, which is laid down for the cold months, is dense and rough and gives a shaggy impression.
Brown bears inhabit a variety of habitats. The remaining animals in Europe live mainly in forested mountainous regions, even in Siberia they are more likely to be found in forests than in open terrain. As long as there is enough food and places to hibernate, they are not too choosy about their habitat. However, even in open terrain they need sufficiently densely vegetated areas as resting places.
The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braunbär). On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 31 August 2021