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How do these big, boxy creatures with flat feet run so fast?

Posted by scott.weybright | June 24, 2016

Looks are deceiving. . .

Grizzly bears have been clocked running up to 35 miles per hour. The top human speed ever recorded is 27.8 mph.
Grizzly bears have been clocked running up to 35 miles per hour. The top human speed ever recorded is 27.8 mph.

Grizzly bears may look like lumbering giants but they’re surprisingly fast and agile. While their average walking pace is similar to that of humans, their top running speed is on par with lions. Clocked in the wild at speeds of 30-35 mph, they pack a lot of muscle mass within that bulky physique. Have you ever noticed the hump on a grizzly’s upper back? It’s a protruding shoulder blade topped with muscle mass that powers their forelimbs for running and digging.

Writing about the speed of grizzlies in his 1925 book “Lives of Game Animals,” naturalist and wildlife artist Ernest Thompson Seton had this to say:

“Those who form their idea of a bear’s speed from watching a hulking, slouching prisoner, are sure to be amazed at the real thing. For 50 or 100 yards a Grizzly can go faster than any horse. In view of this, it will be seen how absurd it is for any man to think that he may escape from a Grizzly by simply running.”