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Bears in Yellowstone National Park



griz Yellowstone National Park © Shawn Coggins

Silver back sow grizzly bear Yellowstone National Park © Shawn Coggins

"Adult grizzly bears differ from black bears (Ursus americanus) in being larger and by having a hump above the shoulders, a concave (rather than straight or convex) facial profile, shorter and more rounded ears, a rump lower than the shoulder hump, and longer, less curved claws usually evident in the tracks. Identification can be difficult at times and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has developed an Online Bear ID Test to help people better distinguish between black bears and grizzly bears." from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks ~ Montana Field Guide.



bear cub Yellowstone National Park © Shawn Coggins


cub crossing the road at Tower Junction in Yellowstone National Park. © Shawn Coggins

[Black bear] "differs from the grizzly bear in having the claws of the forefeet only a little longer than those on the hind feet (about twice as long in the grizzly), length of second upper molar less than 29.5 mm (in part of range where grizzly occurs), snout profile straight rather than dished, and in lacking a prominent hump at the shoulders; maximum size of black bear is less than that of the grizzly (170-280 cm head and body length) (nowak 1991, hall 1981)."from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks ~ Montana Field Guide.


black bear cub on log

Black bear cub after sundown in the Tower Falls area in Yellowstone National Park © Shawn Coggins.

For me over 90% of wildlife photos occur within a half hour before or after sunrise or sunset.
Before digital cameras a lot of these photographs would only be memories and not actual pictures.

logo raven Yellowstone Park © Shawn Coggins