Giant Bears, historic and ancient Over 12 feet tall – Monsters of the Past.

The Short Face bear, Arctodus Simus often stood 11 to 12 feet tall on two legs, weighed about 2,000 lbs. Very large males may have reached 13 to 15 feet tall on two legs in my opinion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short-faced_bear From Wikipedia: It stood 8–10 feet (2.4–3.0 m) tall on hind legs[7] while a large specimen would have been 11–12 feet (3.4–3.7 m) tall with a 14 foot (4.3 m) vertical arm reach, and 5–6 feet (1.5–1.8 m) high at the shoulder when walking on all fours, it was tall enough to look a man in the eye.[8][9][10]At Riverbluff Cave, Missouri a series of claw marks up to 15 feet (4.57 m) high have been found along the cave wall indicating Short-faced bears over 12 feet (3.65 m) tall.[11][12]

The skull of the 12 ft giant bear, Arctodus compared to normal  bear.
The San Francisco Call, Sept 14, 1902 pg 3

Arctodus, the twelve foot high. Photo by Bone Clones.

Giant Arctodus, Tibia is fully one third longer and broader than a modern Polar bear’s.

12 foot Giant bear, Arctodus Simus.

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When on all fours Arctodus stood 5 to 6 feet tall at the shoulder – and could look a man in the eye!

https://i1.wp.com/www.riverbluffcave.com/cimages/linklib/generalgallery_extra_104.jpg

Claw marks at Riverbluff Cave, Missouri are up to 15 feet high, suggesting bears at least 12 feet tall, or taller. http://www.riverbluffcave.com/gallery/rec_id/104/type/1

Arctotheriumwas an immense bear from South America. Fossil bone estimates place it at about 11-12 feet tall and 2,500-3,500 lbs.

Arctotherium 3.5 meters tall ( 11 1/2 feet)

Arctotherium size estimate 11 – 12 feet and over 3,500 lbs. You wouldn’t want to meet this creature in the woods. Looks like the scariest monster out of any Lucas or Spielberg film– but they actually existed.

An even larger specimen, Indarctos has been found near John Day, Oregon. Some estimates place it at 16 feet tall and over 4,000 lbs according to the National Parks Service: http://www.nps.gov/pwr/home/text-versions/feat-JODAFeatureAccessible.html There are credible reports of immense Kodiak and brown bears measuring 12 to 14 feet tall, with skins over 11, 12, 13 and 14 feet long in Alaska, and along the Pacific Coast. Such bears were recorded in Alaska in the late 1800’s and early 20th century. The height of a bear when standing upright on two legs can be estimated if the nose to tail length of the hide is given, and an extra 10% is added to this figure to account for the legs of the bear, while subtracting the extra length of the outstretched nose.  Therefore, a bear that squares a 10 foot hide, will likely stand about 10-1/2 or 11 feet tall on his hind legs. Any brown, Kodiak, or Grizzly bear which scores 10 feet or more is a world class bear. However, records going back just fifty or sixty years ago suggest there were many such instances of bears considerably larger than this. Going into the early 20th and late 19th century there are numerous reports of bears with stretched, and un-stretched or “Green” skins 11,  12 to even 13 -1/2 feet nose to tail! I am quite prepared to believe some of these are genuine measurements, and that some of these largest and more extreme cases were specimens which likely dwelt at a time and environment conducive to gigantic growth, and a lifestyle where such bears were more numerous with abundant food and no challenge from other predators — perhaps with less hunting, endless supply of fish, and a longer lifespan.

*For those who have skepticism that any Kodiak bear can stand over 10 or 11 feet tall, I should refer to Field & Stream Magazine, Dec. 2000 pages 74 – 77, where the author comments on the historic claims of 12- 13 foot skins, and admits that 11 and 11.5 ft hides have been measured, and “an 11 foot bear, whether lean in Spring or fat in fall, will stand over 12 feet tall on his hind legs.” https://books.google.com/books?id=Cw37niGiVrwC&pg=PA76&lpg=PA76&dq=kodiak+bears+12+feet+tall&source=bl&ots=MuUjfcjtpO&sig=TxWCUcTbN4a-bxT3orqrzYtl5bY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rOFYVdTBI83FogSEsYDYCw&ved=0CGYQ6AEwDQ#v=onepage&q=kodiak%20bears%2012%20feet%20tall&f=false

Recreation, Volume 22 George O. Shields, American Canoe Association, League of American Sportsmen – 1905

Big game shooting Volume 1 Page 361 Clive Phillipps Wolley Sir Samuel White Baker 1894

J. C. Tolman Alaska, Forest and Stream, Volume 81, 1913 pg 613.

J. C. Tolman Alaska, Forest and Stream, Volume 81, 1913 pg 613.

The Gold Hunters - A First-hand Picture of Life in California Mining Camps in ... By John David Borthwick , 1917 pg 178.

The Gold Hunters – A First-hand Picture of Life in California Mining Camps in … By John David Borthwick , 1917 pg 178.

Trailing and Camping in Alaska By Addison Monroe Powell – 1909 pg 270 – 271 The skin of a 1200-1600 pound brown bear, 12 feet long, next to a normal sized brown’s skin

Field and Stream, Volume 21, 1916 pg 504.

Field and Stream, Volume 21, 1916 pg 504.

Records of Big Game - With Their Distribution, Characteristics, Dimensions ...  By Rowland Ward, 1899 pg. 476.

Records of Big Game – With Their Distribution, Characteristics, Dimensions … By Rowland Ward, 1899 pg. 476.

Numerous newspaper reports exist of Giant terror Grizzlies, browns and Kodiak bears squaring 10, 11, 12, even 13 feet nose to tail,  from the mid 1800’s into the 1950’s from as far away as Colorado to California, and Alaska.

Spokane Daily Chronicle – May 13, 1949 pg 48.

Toledo Blade - Jan 30, 1908 pg 1

Toledo Blade – Jan 30, 1908 pg 1.  Mr. Grant Chase who killed 500 -600 bears,  claimed to have killed a Brown whose skin measured 13 feet 4 inches nose to tail, and 13 feet 3″ claw to claw. Such bears weighed as big as 2,000 to 2,500 pounds by his experience.

The Polk County News - Apr 21, 1922 pg 7

The Polk County News – Apr 21, 1922 pg 7

Spokane Daily Chronicle - Nov 17, 1939 pg 41

Spokane Daily Chronicle – Nov 17, 1939 pg 41

Prescott Evening Courier - Jul 31, 1952 pg 2.

Prescott Evening Courier – Jul 31, 1952 pg 2.

Photo Postcard Dr. Moore and a Huge Bear Skin 10 feet 8 Inches.

Photo Postcard Dr. Moore and a Huge Bear Skin 10 feet 8 Inches.

Opera News, Volume 5, Issues 7-24 Metropolitan Opera Guild, 1940 pg 66.

Opera News, Volume 5, Issues 7-24 Metropolitan Opera Guild, 1940 pg 66.

Bear Skin Hunting Gun Rifle Original Halftone Print Home & Kitchen

Spokane Daily Chronicle - Jun 18, 1938 pg 2

Spokane Daily Chronicle – Jun 18, 1938 pg 2

Kodiak bear 11 ft long

Kodiak bear 11 ft long

Kodiak, 1951.

Kodiak, 1951. 11 ft bear

Forest and Stream, Volume 69  By Charles Hallock, William A. Bruette 1907 pg 489.

Forest and Stream, Volume 69 By Charles Hallock, William A. Bruette 1907 pg 489.

Brown Bear Killed By Dr. W. H. Chase of Cordova, Alaska in 1919. Bear stood was said to stand over 12 feet tall.

Brown Bear Killed By Dr. W. H. Chase of Cordova, Alaska in 1919. http://www.cardcow.com/145744/brown-best-killed-by-dr-h-chase-alaska/ It appears this bear hide can be measured indirectly using the 38 inch long .401 Winchester Model 1910 rifle Dr. Chase holds as a reference, the hide must measure at least 11 feet from nose to tail – suggesting a bear over 12 feet tall on hind legs!

The Saturday Evening Post, Volume 192, Issues 40-43 April 24, 1920 pg 91.

The Saturday Evening Post, Volume 192, Issues 40-43 April 24, 1920 pg 91.

The Literary Digest, Volume 66 -  Sep 18, 1920 pg 85.

The Literary Digest, Volume 66 – Sep 18, 1920 pg 85.

Harrisburg telegraph. March 01, 1917, Page 9

Harrisburg telegraph. March 01, 1917, Page 9

New-York tribune April 12, 1903, Page 6.

New-York tribune April 12, 1903, Page 6.

The Daily Ardmoreite. (Ardmore, Okla.)  January 11, 1922 pg 3.

The Daily Ardmoreite. (Ardmore, Okla.) January 11, 1922 pg 3.

Red Lodge picket. Red lodge, Montana, August 15, 1896, pg 4.

Red Lodge picket. Red lodge, Montana, August 15, 1896, pg 4.

The Valentine Democrat - Valentine, Neb. December 17, 1896 pg 4.

The Valentine Democrat – Valentine, Neb. December 17, 1896 pg 4.

The Spokesman-Review - May 27, 1916 pg 13.

The Spokesman-Review – May 27, 1916 pg 13.

Alaska's No. 1 Guide - The History and Journals of Andrew Berg, 1869-1939. 2003 pg 151.

Alaska’s No. 1 Guide – The History and Journals of Andrew Berg, 1869-1939. 2003 pg 151.

The Pittsburgh Press - Jun 16, 1963 pg 33

The Pittsburgh Press – Jun 16, 1963 pg 33

Giant bear 1952

Records exist of a giant brown bear from 1952 which weighed 1,950 pounds, with a hide that squared 11 ft 6 1/2. Such a bear would have stood 12 feet tall when on hind legs!

The “utopia” scenario of giant brown bears living on Kodiak Island, and the Alaskan peninsula in a period where hunting had not yet depleted all of the giants from the gene pool is certainly an attractive theory. However, after reviewing the literature it now appears that the Kodiak bear population has rebounded to historic high levels not seen in at least 70 or 80 years! A thriving population of 3,500 bears inhabit the island, thanks in part to stricter hunting regulations. I believe giantism is now becoming evident in some of these massive bears, not unlike the trophy days of the 1890’s to 1950’s. This may well be the usual natural variablity one sees in any bear population, but there do seem to be a healthy number of bears squaring 10 feet as of late, and in the past decade or some 11 to 12 foot hides have been reported! Perhaps the best example was 2006, when a massive brown bear was killed on the Alaskan mainland by the daughter of a prominent master guide, Larry Rivers. This was about the largest bear he had seen in his 35 years. It weighed an estimated 1,800 lbs, had a 29- 1/16 inch skull and squared at least 11 feet 8 inches. A bear this size would have stood from 12 to 13 feet tall on his hind legs by my estimates, rivaling all except the very largest historic giants reported in the 19th and 20th century!  This suggests to me a potential resurgence of really big brown bears may be underway, and perhaps one day soon we may hear of some 12 and even 13 foot hides? Read Story: https://www.boone-crockett.org/news/trophyWatch_detail.asp?area=news&ID=169BCD5C-6697-4343-AF61-CF8336508032 (Note: I don’t endorse the killing of animals for sheer sport, unless it is for food & sustenance, and /or for safety and preservation of other species. That’s just my 2 cents). Speaking of 15 foot Grizzlies… I recently watched this movie, “Grizzly” 1976: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY4lS5hSLTQ (The acting is horrible, but it was entertaining for 1976 standards…a decent amount of blood and suspense! All in all, a 5 out of 10 according to IMDB.)

King of grizzly bears ‘terrorized’ Colorado until 1904

Posted By Vickie Makings On August 29, 2012 @ 6:10 am In Mountains,Science,Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Map of Old Mose's territory Stockmen feared him. Livestock fed him. A massive grizzly bear roamed south-central Colorado in the closing days of the 19th century. He had a peculiar gait, sort of a moseying stride that gave him his nickname, Old Mose. He was smarter than a fox, they said. Could tell if a man was armed with a rifle. Treated fence posts like match sticks and walked right through them, not around them. One cowboy reported he’d seen Old Mose pull down a running horse with one swipe of his paw, then kill it with a bite to the neck. Another report claimed he’d killed three bulls on one ranch alone. Whatever the tales, this particular Ursus horribilis earned even more fame. An old timer in the area was quoted in newspaper accounts of the day: “There were two or three men that had gone to the hills to look for him. They never returned and their bodies were never recovered.” In 1904, a savvy professional hunter named James W. Anthony came to the area with his pack of dogs. He was persuaded to go after Old Mose. After a month of tracking and searching and getting lucky, hunter met his prey on Black Mountain. Anthony’s description of the killing makes for sober reading. (Denver Post; May 15, 1904, p.3, features section) It is tempered a bit by the respectful tone used to describe the great bruin. It took four rifle shots hitting their mark to kill Colorado’s king of grizzlies. Hunters and the hunted In Canon City, after dressing, Old Mose weighed about 900 lbs. He was killed just after his spring emergence, so might have weighed as much as 1,500 lbs. had he made it through the summer. His hide measured 10 ft., 4 inches long from nose to tail and was 9 ft., 6 inches wide. The Canon City Municipal Museum requested the hide, but the hunter took his prize with him back to California. He eventually gave it to the zoology department of the University of California, Berkeley. Presumably, it still sits in the vault there, where it has contributed to scientific research for 100 years. Remains of Old Mose, last grizzly bear killed in Colorado More reading, “The Grizzly that Terrorized Colorado,” Empire Magazine, The Denver Post, January 28, 1968, p.34.  Available on microfilm at Denver Public Library.

Article printed from The Archive: http://blogs.denverpost.com/library URL to article: http://blogs.denverpost.com/library/2012/08/29/king-grizzly-bears-terrorized-colorado-1904/3207/ Polar bears 11 to 13 feet tall and over 2,000 lbs have also made it into the record books.

The late Arthur R. Dubs of Medford, Oregon  shot this immense 11 foot 1.5 inch tall Polar bear , which weighed over 2,000 lbs. This giant’s skin measured 11 ft 4 inches nose to tail and 11 ft 9 claw to claw.

The Tuscaloosa News - Apr 10, 1961 pg 3

The Pittsburgh Press – Jun 16, 1963 pg 33

Mr. Dub’s trophy was displayed at the Seattle World’s fair, 1962.

Largest Polar Bear

Robert Peterson Polar bear

Polar bear shot by the famed publishing mogul Robert E. Petersen in 1965 with a Smith & Wesson revolver. Mounted height is 12 feet 8 inches tall with a skull 28 & 1/16 inch. On display at the NRA museum. Bear weighed 1,500 pounds. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVW8MpaAwK0 Some credit the bear at 14 feet. Perhaps it’s skin measured 14 feet before it was mounted.

Giant Polar Bear - Life Magazine 1970

Giant Polar Bear – Life Magazine 1970

Polar bear skins 12 and 13 feet long were recorded as early as the 1590’s by Barentz and his crew. Several of his men were killed by these bears.

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2 Responses to Giant Bears, historic and ancient Over 12 feet tall – Monsters of the Past.

  1. Asriel says:

    Stop killing bears! 😦

    • rephaim23 says:

      Thank you for your comment. I’ve never killed an animal in my life, with the exception of some spiders and insects. What is presented here is a compilation of Giant historic bear accounts, records, and bone discoveries, to illustrate how big some of the largest pre-historic and historic ursine species once were. I do not endorse the killing of bears for sport. If any thing, these old records show that some of the largest and more magnificent genetic lineages of bear have been extirpated from the planet by humans.

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