Long claws on the front feet are also a good way to tell a grizzly from a black bear—for obvious reasons, this method has its limitations! Grizzly bears have gently curved, often light colored, 2-4 inch long claws adapted for digging roots and excavating a winter den. The claws of an adult grizzly can be longer than a person's finger. Black bears have shorter, more sharply curved, dark, claws that are often less than 2-inches long. These claws are well adapted for climbing trees and tearing into rotten logs in search of insects.