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Bear ID - Shoulder Hump

The physical characteristics which will enable you to tell the difference between a grizzly bear and a black bear are the presence of a shoulder hump, the shape of the facial profile, the size and shape of the ears, and the length of the front claws.

Grizzly bears have well-developed shoulder muscles for digging and turning over rocks. These muscles appear as a prominent shoulder hump between the front shoulders, which is visible in profile. Black bears have no shoulder hump. A black bear's highest point, when it's on all fours, is the middle of the back or the rear, depending on how the bear is standing.

Grizzly bear shoulder hump

Grizzly Bear - Shoulder hump

Black bear - has no hump

Black Bear - No shoulder hump