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A Coastal Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) watches for salmon at the edge of a creek in Hallow Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Brown Bear, Grizzly Bear or Kodiak Bear, they are all members of the brown bear family, Ursidae. Scientific names differ amongst groups of brown bears found in specific regions such as Coastal and Grizzly Bears, which have been given the name, Ursus arctos horribilis. Though there is a wide variety of brown bears found throughout the world, all having unique scientific names, they are still all members of the brown bear family, Ursidae. Middendorffi is the one exception and only scientifically recognized sub species of brown bear, due to the fact that they have the smallest gene pool of all brown bears and have a definite larger bone structure than other brown bears.

Brown bears found inland and in mountainous habitats are called "grizzlies" while brown bears living in coastal areas are called Coastal Brown Bears. The Kodiak brown bear is isolated to Kodiak Island in Alaska. Kodiak bears are not Grizzly Bears, the name “grizzly” comes from the silver tipped hairs these bears get, as they grow older. In comparison, the grizzly is considerably smaller than both the coastal brown bear and the Kodiak brown bear. This size difference is due to the abundance of food available in coastal areas and on Kodiak Island. The Kodiak bear has been isolated to Kodiak Island for some 12,000 years. The bone structure of the Kodiak is much larger than other Brown Bears, they have a more diverse social structure than other bears due to the close proximity in which they live and they have a gene pool that is much smaller than that of other bears.

The Kodiak brown bear is the world’s largest bear while the polar bear being a direct descendent of the brown bear is the world’s heaviest bear. Polar bears have been reclassified as marine mammals due to the amount of time these bears spend in the water.

The bear pictured is a Coastal Brown bear photographed at

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