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)