Despite being depicted on California’s flag, the California grizzly bear has been extinct since 1924.

California grizzly bear

For the University of California, Berkeley mascot, see California Golden Bears.

The California grizzly bear (Ursus arctos californicus) is an extinct population or subspecies of the brown bear, generally known (together with other North American brown bear populations) as the grizzly bear. “Grizzly” could have meant “grizzled” – that is, with golden and grey tips of the hair – or “fear-inspiring” (as a phonetic spelling of “grisly”). Nonetheless, after careful study, naturalist George Ord formally classified it in 1815 – not for its hair, but for its character – as Ursus horribilis (“terrifying bear”). Genetically, North American brown bears are closely related; in size and coloring, the California grizzly bear was much like the Kodiak … Continue Reading (6 minute read)

5 thoughts on “Despite being depicted on California’s flag, the California grizzly bear has been extinct since 1924.”

  1. roylennigan

    This reminds me of the running joke we had growing up in Florida. Every single subdivision has a fancy wall at the entrance with some natural name like *Pine Glen*, or *Egret Landing*. So we’d always say that they named the neighborhood after the thing they bulldozed to make it, since no matter where it was, every neighborhood had no trees, big sod lawns, and a water retention pond.

  2. DreamcastJunkie

    The flag of Wales has a dragon on it. Flags are weird.

    Also, Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn.

  3. I_might_be_weasel

    They added a second head to the bear in 2186.

  4. Compley

    Canada has a Maple Leaf, and they haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967.

  5. Mister_AA

    The same goes for the Carolina Panthers. By the time the football franchise started the actual species of panther it was based on had not been sighted for something like 50 years.

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