Right from our childhood days, most of us have played with teddy bears. Hear the word “bear,” and your mind automatically flashes fluffy and squishy toy bears that you either played with or watched on the television as a kid, isn’t it?
Well, in reality, bears, apart from looking cute and huggable, are one of the most intelligent, strongest, and powerful animals on the earth! Here in this article, we will focus on the strongest bear species in the world.
List of 8 Strongest Bear Species in The World
- Polar Bears
- Kodiak Bears
- Grizzly Bears
- Kamchatka Brown Bears
- Ussuri Brown Bears
- Eurasian Brown Bears
- American Black Bears
- Asiatic Black Bears
Polar bears, also known as Ice bears, are found largely within the Arctic Circle that encompasses the Arctic Ocean and its surrounding land and seas. These bears (Ursus maritimus) wear the crown for being the strongest bear species!
Adult polar bears can be up to 11 ft. tall when they stand on their hind legs and can weigh up to 1,500 lbs. Females are about 8 ft. tall and weigh up to 550 lbs.
The bite strength of these white fluffy bears is 1,235 PSI, which gives them immense bite force. Besides their powerful jaws, polar bear strength is reflected in their ability to lift icebergs that weigh over 1,000 lbs.
Polar bears are carnivores and apex predators that mainly prey on seals. They usually wait for the seals to come to the sea ice surface to breathe and then seize the opportunity to attack and hunt them down.
Ice bears are known for their aggressive behavior and will attack humans, more likely if hungry.
The Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi), also known as Kodiak brown bears or Alaskan brown bears, are found in southwest Alaska in the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago (hence the name).
They are one of the largest extant bears today, with polar bears being the other one. When on their hind legs, adult Kodiak bears can stand over 10 ft. tall and up to 5 ft. when on their four legs. Their average weight ranges between 254 and 794 lbs. However, the large male ones can weigh more than 1,500 lbs!
These are omnivorous animals, where they eat forbs and grasses during summer and feast on dead meat of deer and elk during winters. They also feed on fish, invertebrates, tubers, seaweeds, berries, nuts, plants. The bite strength of Kodiak bears is measured at 1,100 PSI.
However, despite their enormous power and size, Kodiak bears are not aggressive, and they tend to avoid humans.
Related: Most Agile Animals
Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) are a subspecies of brown bears and have earned their names thanks to their hair-raising appearance. Located throughout North America, these bears have a scavenging behavior and can eat rotting animal carcasses!
They mainly feed on salmon, deer, squirrels, marmots, bison, mice, and moose. Adult grizzly height can range from 3 ft. 6 inches to 9 ft. long, where male grizzlies weigh on average between 400-790 lbs, while the female bears weigh between 290-400 lbs.
One grizzly bear has strength equal to that of five humans! They can lift a weight of above 1,110 lbs, which is more than their body weight. Grizzlies have a bite-force of 1160 PSI, powerful enough to squash a bowling ball into pieces!
Though rare, there have been documented cases of attacks on humans. However, the majority of such cases were related to self-defense and cub/food protection.
Kamchatka Brown Bears
Believed to be the ancestors of the Kodiak bears, Kamchatka brown bears (Ursus arctos beringianus) are also called the “Far Eastern brown bears.”
They are found in eastern Siberia in the Kamchatka peninsula, Kuril Islands, Karaginsky Island, and Shantar Islands. While adult males grow up to 9 ft with a weight up to 800 lbs, the female bears grow up to 7 ft and weigh about 700 lbs.
The Kamchatka bears are known to be the biggest brown bears in Eurasia. They are omnivorous animals, and their diet includes blueberries, humpback salmon, steelhead, nuts, fish, mountain ash, crowberries, among other plants and animals.
These bear species are not aggressive towards humans, and according to Wikipedia, less than 1% of encounters with humans result in an attack.
Ussuri Brown Bears
Ussuri brown bears (Ursus arctos lasiotus) are also called black grizzly bears and the Ezo brown bear. They are a subspecies of brown bears and are found in Ussuri krai, Amur Oblast, Sakhalin, north Shantar Island, China, Korean Peninsula, Hokkaido, Iturup Island, and Kunashiri island.
Although these bears are mostly vegetarian, they are able to kill any prey owing to their status of being large predators. They weigh anywhere between 880 lb to 1210 lbs, while their height ranges between 6-9 ft in length.
They look similar to Kamchatka brown bears but are usually darker in color and have an elongated skull and a forehead that is less elevated. Ussuri brown bears are known to be solitary animals except when they’re around with the cubs or while mating.
Like their relatives (Kamchatka bears), Ussuri brown bears are also typically not dangerous to humans.
Eurasian Brown Bears
You guessed it right from its name, Eurasian brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos), is found in Eurasia, and are also called the common bear, common brown bear, and European brown bear. These bears are the most common subspecies of the large bear species – brown bears.
The Eurasian brown bears have a strong bone structure, and they have huge paws with claws that can be up to 4 inches in length! They are about 48-83 inches tall and weigh about 300-550 lbs. These bears are mostly solitary animals and are able to swim and run well.
Eurasian brown bears are omnivorous animals, and their diet includes seeds, roots, fruits, insects, fish, mammals, and dead animals’ meat. They are recognized as one of the most aggressive Ursus arctos species.
American Black Bears
The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is found across North America and is known to be the tiniest bear in that region. Thanks to their versatile diet, these bears can adapt to several habitats.
Their height ranges between 3 ft. 11 inches to 6 ft. 7 inches tall, but they have the capacity to grow much larger as well. While the adult makes weigh between 126-551 lbs, the female bears weigh close to 90-375 lbs.
Being omnivorous animals, these bears will eat a plethora of items, starting from succulent plants, berries, roots, fish, meat, insects to larvae and grass! However, they are not known to be hunters and are almost 85% vegetarian.
American black bears are typically non-aggressive species and will only display violent behavior when threatened.
Asiatic Black Bears
These black bears (Ursus thibetanus) are also called Asian black bears, white chested bears, and moon bears owing to their origin and color!
Asiatic black bears inhabit a wide area of southern Asia. Including Japan, Nepal, Northern India, Pakistan, Iran, along the mountains of Afghanistan.
Their height ranges between 4.25 to 6.25 inches tall, and they weigh about 220 to 440 lbs (females are half of that). The Asian black bears are omnivorous animals who feed on fruits, insects, small mammals, birds, beehives as well as decayed animal meat.
These bears are recognized to be more aggressive than the American and Eurasian black bears. Besides being known to attack people, Asiatic black bears will also frequently go after domestic animals given the opportunity.
There you have it, a list of the top 8 strongest bear species in the world.
Did you already know that Polar bears, Kodiak bears, and Grizzly bears are the most powerful now when you think about it?
However, it’s worth mentioning that all bear species can be dangerous regardless of their level of aggression and natural strength. Any extant bear species is more powerful than any man alive, so it is important to minimize unwanted situations.
The best practice is to stay away from the bear and not make the animal feel threatened anyhow.
Thank you for reading. If you liked this article I would like to recommend you a similar read – How Strong Are Elephants?