Brown Bear

What's the difference between a Grizzly Bear and a Brown Bear?

I know Grizzly Bear's are considered a subspecies of Brown Bear, but what's the difference that makes them require a different category?

Yes Bob (Oikos), I signed in and saw this question, thought I might impart what I know, though as for being an expert, well I think even Einstein would consider himself a student of physics !...

Yes grizzlies are one of several brown bear subspecies across the world. The difference is not anything radically different from what constitutes a subspecies of any organism. They are a population isolated from all other brown bear populations that therefore only breed among themselves. They have morphological features and other physical traits that differentiate them from other brown bears. 2 examples of this are the pronounced muscle hump across the shoulders that is particularly evident and expressed in grizzlies, no other brown bear subspecies is so distinctive for this. The other is that from which their name derives - the grizzled or greyed/silvered hair tips that typically appears in adults or otherwise sexually mature bears. These and other differences, and the isolation are enough to assign them as a subspecies in their own right.
The differences to other brown bears are not enough to assign them as a species on their own. In addition the grizzly gene pool, that's the entire collection of all genes across all individuals are genetically compatible with all other subspecies. As they are physiologically (at least, they are other factors that prohibit interbreeding such as behavioural incompatibility) able to interbreed with other browns, this is an important factor in determining the taxonomy. That said, it is only a guide, not a concrete rule.
The term subspecies is of much less distinction than a different category, it is only a subrank or taxonomic unit within species.
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This is in reference to the entire range of the grizzly...
I am aware of the colloquial usage of both 'grizzly' and 'brown bear'. In everyday, local usage, brown bears (or 'coastal brown bears') are those populations in outlying and coastal regions. Grizzlies are inland and upland populations. The confusion continues for other reasons - the grizzled hair is much more common within inland populations. Further, historically these 2 groups brown bears of mainland N. America 'where' assigned different scientific names (trinomials - subspecies names). The coastal brown bear was Ursus arctos gyas and the grizzly the now inclusive Ursus arctos horribilis.
And just to throw another spanner in the works, consider this - I deliberately stated 'mainland N. America'. Today gyas is obsolete, ALL mainland brown bears of N. America, that is inland, upland, alaskan, coastal...are the subspecies Ursus arctos horribilis - the grizzly. However, there is actually one other subspecies of N. America - Ursus arctos middendorffi, the kodiak. This is brown bear population is isolated from all grizzlies as they live exclusively on the kodiak archipelago.
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There are other points to be made regarding all this, but they are not directly related to your question and would confuse the issue further !

Shadow D - "while other species", perhaps that was an oversight, but the error is unhelpful and contradictory...your weights are misleading, grizzlies too can weigh 600 + lbs.

Bob (Oikos) - *** I see ! No, the question asks about grizzlies and browns, not grizzlies and black bears.*** Other issues discussed privately and resolved.

Jeff Sadler - that profile does nothing to address the question asked, indeed it confuses the issue because you are implicitly stating that the 2 (coastals and grizzlies) 'are' in a different category due to the differences you state which is completely incorrect ! Your mentioning of the regional variation does however compel me to address an aspect I was not going to, but alluded to at the conclusion of my answer...
There are several differences between inland and coastal grizzlies - size, colour and morphology...indeed a reasonable case could be made for splitting them into separate subspecies, but let's not go there...
"As a whole the grizzlies are one of the smaller of the brown bear subspecies."
- on the basis of your stated premise, they would be, but your premise is incorrect. Given that ALL mainland browns of N. America are grizzlies, that means that ALL size ranges are included when determining the size order of the various subspecies. With that in mind, consider that coastal grizzlies actually overlap the size of the 2 largest subspecies - the kodiak and kamchatkan (U. a. middendorffi & U. a. beringianus). And so even though inland populations are smaller, the overall average places them 3rd or 4th in brown bear subspecies size, that is still in the top half of the rankings...

Jeff Sadler - you are childish and an ignoramus...I am running out of characters for my answer so I cannot rebut your edited drivel...except to say just that - 100 % tripe.

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ROYAL KENT BROWN BEAR BABY DOUBLE HANDLE DRINKING CUP
ROYAL KENT BROWN BEAR BABY DOUBLE HANDLE DRINKING CUP
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Gently Used Pfaltzgraff Yellow  Brown Teddy Bear Kids Cereal Food Bowl  mark
Gently Used Pfaltzgraff Yellow Brown Teddy Bear Kids Cereal Food Bowl mark
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NIB Sakura David Carter Brown Northwoods Sugar and Creamer Bear and Duck
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Metlox California Pottery Brown Koala Bear Cookie Jar Lid Vintage Free Ship
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Herend Brown Bear with Honey figurine porcelain
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Robert Weiss Ceramics California Pottery Childs 3D Brown Teddy Bear Cereal Bowl
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Vintage Hyllested Small Brown Glazed Bear Figurine Denmark
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MCCOY SLEEPING BROWN HONEY BEAR BEE HIVE HONEY POT USA 143 VTG
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Japan Dish Plate Bear Brown 14cm Kid Kitchen Tool Porcelain made in japan
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NICE Art Pottery Mug BROWN BEAR GRIZZLY Relief Signed Hand Thrown Ceramic Cup
NICE Art Pottery Mug BROWN BEAR GRIZZLY Relief Signed Hand Thrown Ceramic Cup
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Herend Chocolate Brown Fishnet Bear Cub  15933
Herend Chocolate Brown Fishnet Bear Cub 15933
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Herend Chocolate Brown Fishnet Honey Bear 15500
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Mid Century Howard Pierce Chocolate Brown Bear EXCELLENT
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Brown Bear Eating honey SP with plugsToothpick holder
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Vtg Royal Copenhagen Denmark Knud Kyhn Pair Brown Bear Cubs 22747
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Victoria Ceramics Set of 4 Brown Bear  Cookie Jar Sugar Dish and Salt
Victoria Ceramics Set of 4 Brown Bear Cookie Jar Sugar Dish and Salt
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Vintage Royal Copley Bear with Wagon Wheelbarrow Pottery Planter Brown Bear Cute
Vintage Royal Copley Bear with Wagon Wheelbarrow Pottery Planter Brown Bear Cute
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B  G Bing  Grondahl Denmark Copenhagen 9385 MOTHERS DAY BROWN BEAR PLATE 1985
B G Bing Grondahl Denmark Copenhagen 9385 MOTHERS DAY BROWN BEAR PLATE 1985
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MATTHEW ADAMS POTTERY BROWN BEAR SALT  PEPPER SHAKERS MINT SASCHA BRASTOFF
MATTHEW ADAMS POTTERY BROWN BEAR SALT PEPPER SHAKERS MINT SASCHA BRASTOFF
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Vintage Otagiri Brown Bear Mug  Brown Bear Salt Cinnamon Shaker Red Bow Japan
Vintage Otagiri Brown Bear Mug Brown Bear Salt Cinnamon Shaker Red Bow Japan
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Tracy Porter Beloved Country Collection Brown Bear Figural Napkin Holder
Tracy Porter Beloved Country Collection Brown Bear Figural Napkin Holder
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VINTAGE 1950S HAND PAINTED PORCELAIN BROWN BEAR FIGURINE MADE IN JAPAN
VINTAGE 1950S HAND PAINTED PORCELAIN BROWN BEAR FIGURINE MADE IN JAPAN
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Stoneware Art Studio Pottery Mugs Brown I CAN BEAR IT Signed
Stoneware Art Studio Pottery Mugs Brown I CAN BEAR IT Signed
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Vtg Shawnee Pottery Planter Bear Lamb Jumping Brick Wall Brown Green
Vtg Shawnee Pottery Planter Bear Lamb Jumping Brick Wall Brown Green
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AMAZING LOMONOSOV USSR IMPERIAL RUSSIAN BROWN BEAR Figurine
AMAZING LOMONOSOV USSR IMPERIAL RUSSIAN BROWN BEAR Figurine
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Vintage Soviet Russian Lomonosov Porcelain Brown Bear Handpainted
Vintage Soviet Russian Lomonosov Porcelain Brown Bear Handpainted
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New Tan  Brown Home Studio Woodland Cookie Jar Canister Moose Bear Trees Cabin
New Tan Brown Home Studio Woodland Cookie Jar Canister Moose Bear Trees Cabin
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Vintage Soviet Russian Lomonosov Porcelain Brown Bear Figure Figurine
Vintage Soviet Russian Lomonosov Porcelain Brown Bear Figure Figurine
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HIGH GLOSS BROWN TONE BLACK BEAR OVAL STONEWARE PLATTER BY DENNIS EAST INTL
HIGH GLOSS BROWN TONE BLACK BEAR OVAL STONEWARE PLATTER BY DENNIS EAST INTL
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RUSSIAN Imperial Lomonosov Porcelain Figurine Sculpture Brown Bear Cub Grizzly
RUSSIAN Imperial Lomonosov Porcelain Figurine Sculpture Brown Bear Cub Grizzly
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Arne Bang 1901 1983 Figure in stoneware brown bear with cub
Arne Bang 1901 1983 Figure in stoneware brown bear with cub
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Vintage Soviet Russian Lomonosov Porcelain Brown Bear Figure Figurine
Vintage Soviet Russian Lomonosov Porcelain Brown Bear Figure Figurine
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BAUGHAN JANE STEPHEN BROWN TEDDY BEARS RED BLUE BALLONS 6 CEREAL BOWL ENGLAND
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VINTAGE DUNCAN CERAMICS BROWN SITTING BEAR FIGURINE
VINTAGE DUNCAN CERAMICS BROWN SITTING BEAR FIGURINE
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Vintage Small Pottery Planter Animated Bear Cubs Tree Trunk Yellow
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Vintage 45 Fawn Ceramic Planter and 4 Ceramic Brown Bear Wildlife Forrest
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Pigeon Forge Pottery Speckled Brown Bear Sitting
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Boehm KOALA BEAR Porcelain Figurine With Bamboo Brown 5 1 4 20099 England
Boehm KOALA BEAR Porcelain Figurine With Bamboo Brown 5 1 4 20099 England
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Royal Copley planter bear with label brown red bow excellent condition
Royal Copley planter bear with label brown red bow excellent condition
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Vintage Royal Copley Brown Teddy Bear Planter Vase Pottery Pink Bow
Vintage Royal Copley Brown Teddy Bear Planter Vase Pottery Pink Bow
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