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American BisonA Natural History$
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Dale Lott, Jan van Wagtendonk, and Kevin Shaffer

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233386

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233386.001.0001

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(p.141) Chapter 17 Grizzlies
American Bison

Dale F. Lott

University of California Press

In parts of the plains, coyotes had to compete with one of the most formidable scavengers — the Great Bear. Once known as Ursus horribilis, it's now known as Ursus arctos. This includes the brown bear of Europe and Asia, the Kodiak bear of the north Pacific coast, and the grizzly bear of North America's mountains and plains. The great bear eats mostly vegetation, including a good bit of grass. But its simple stomach can't get much of the good out of grass, though it does better on fruit and roots. Its closest relative is the polar bear, which is carnivorous. Grizzlies are enthusiastic carnivores, but when it comes to taking on the large hoofed animals on the plains, they are not very efficient. The great bear's avid appetite for meat may explain part of the male bear's enthusiasm for killing cubs.

Keywords:   grizzly bear, North America, coyote, scavenger, Ursus arctos, brown bear, great bear

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