How Big Are Grizzly Bear Claws And Paws? Their Sizes And Sharpness.


By Elizabeth Dandy. Updated: November 2023.


Provided by TruthAboutAnimals (Photo: iStock by Getty Images).

Grizzly bear paws are large, long and powerful. And you may be wondering how big are grizzly bear claws? You may have thought of those massive paws when you saw the extreme strength that was used to kill a moose.

Also known as the grizzly bear paw or just the grizzly bear claws, there isn’t a lot of information on how big they actually are. Being strong by nature, one would assume they are pretty damn big.

Grizzly Bear claws are part of this species’s equipment for survival and hunting. They are incredibly large and powerful, which is what makes them such a feared predator.

Having a set of grizzly bear claws like this would be a bit of a bummer for people who have things that need to stay intact, but it sure would make mincemeat out of something fragile!

Let’s start to find out how big are grizzly bear paws, what the claws look like, their sizes and sharpness.

Table of Contents.

Do Grizzly Bears Have Paws?

The answer is yes, but not in the way you might think.

What Are Paws?

Paws are thought to have evolved from fins, which are found on fish and amphibians. All four-legged animals have some kind of paw, though they may look different depending on the species.

For example, dogs have paws with five digits while bears have four-toed paws. The front paw on a bear has two large claws that are used for digging and catching prey, while their back paws have three smaller claws that help them climb trees and rocks.

The Anatomy of The Grizzly Bear Paw.

A grizzly bear’s paw anatomy includes:

Ankle bone or tarsus: This is made up of two bones (the tibia and fibula) that connect your ankle to your foot bones (metatarsals). It allows for flexion and extension of your leg so you can walk or run quickly.

For example, when you bend your knee or push off with your toes as you run, it’s due to the action of these two bones working together as one unit.

Metacarpal bones: These are located at the front part of each paw and correspond to our finger bones;

Do Grizzly Bears Have Claws?

Grizzly bears have large, strong claws that they use to catch and kill prey. They also use their claws to dig into the snow to find food.

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Grizzly bears are considered omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals. Grizzly bear claws are used for digging through snow in search of prey like elk or bison. They also use their claws to attack other animals for food.

The grizzly bear’s large paws allow it to easily walk on snow, ice, and rocky terrain. The grizzly’s front paws are larger than its rear paws by about 25%.

Their front paws measure from 7 inches long to 8 inches long (17 cm). The rear paws measure from 5 inches long to 6 inches long (12 cm).

Facts About The Grizzly Bear Paw

Grizzly Bear Feet Facts: The grizzly bear has a double pad between each toe on both front and hind feet.

This pad helps protect against injury while walking through snow or over rocky terrain where sharp objects could easily puncture their pads without such protection.

The grizzly bear’s claws are long and curved like those of a dog or cat, but much larger than those of any other mammal in North America except for the tiger seal (which has no claws).

The paws of a grizzly bear are extremely large, powerful and can have five digits. The front two digits are thumb-like while the rest are more like fingers.

The paw pads are thick, tough and covered in small scales that protect them from abrasion and injury. A grizzly’s claws are sharp and curved and they can be up to three inches long.

The claws help with climbing trees, digging food out of the ground and defending themselves against predators.

The Paw Size of The Grizzly Bear.

The grizzly bear paw size is about 10 inches long and 6 inches wide. The claws are 2 inches in length. The paws are used for digging and grooming as well as walking, climbing and swimming.

The long claws are used to tear apart meat, while the short ones are used for climbing trees and digging food out of the ground.

The grizzly bear is the largest member of the bear family. They can reach up to 7 feet tall when standing on their hind legs, but they usually stand at just 5 feet tall when walking around on all fours!

They weigh between 400 and 700 pounds, although some have weighed as much as 1,500 pounds!

A grizzly bear’s diet consists mainly of plants such as berries, roots and grasses. They also eat fish, deer, elk and carrion (dead animals).

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The grizzly bear is an omnivore which means it eats both plants and meat.

Measuring The Strength of Grizzly Bear Swipe.

A grizzly bear swipe is a lot stronger than it looks. The paw swipe is one of the strongest animal movements ever tested, according to a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

The researchers found that when a bear swipes down from an upright position, its paw exerts about 2,300 pounds per square inch (psi) of force on the ground, or about 1,000 psi more than the bite of an alligator (which tops out at about 1,000 psi).

That’s about 10 times more force than what scientists previously thought bears could generate using their paws. That’s not just impressive for an animal, it’s impressive for any species.

“It was amazing to see how much energy these animals can produce with their paws,” said lead researcher Michael Sawaya, who studies biomechanics at Stanford University in California. “We’ve seen this kind of power before in other mammals like primates but never in carnivores like bears.”

How to Identify Grizzly Bear Paw Prints

When you’re out in the wilderness and come across fresh bear tracks, it can be difficult to distinguish between the tracks of a black bear and grizzly bear.

While black bears are often found in the same regions as grizzlies, the latter tends to travel more widely and is more aggressive. The best way to tell them apart is by looking at their paw prints.

Grizzlies have larger, broader feet with claws that are longer than those of black bears. The front pad on a grizzly’s foot is wider than the rear pad, while in black bears it’s about equal in size. Their claws also tend to be longer and more curved than those of black bears.

Another difference between grizzlies and black bears is how they walk.

Grizzlies tend to walk flat-footed with little or no arch or heel strike, while black bears tend to walk with an arched foot with an exaggerated heel strike due to their smaller size and shorter claws compared to grizzlies.

Grizzly Bear Claw Facts

Grizzly bear claws can reach up to 8 inches in length. They are curved and sharp, and are used for tearing into prey.

The claws also play an important role in the grizzly bear’s defense. They can be used to swipe at an attacker, or to grab onto objects and pull them closer.

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Claws are also helpful when the grizzly is digging for food or shelter. They can dig through tough soil quickly and easily.

Grizzly bears use their claws for a variety of activities, including hunting, climbing, and swimming.

How Sharp Are Grizzly Bears Claws?

Grizzly bears are omnivores, which means that their diet can consist of both meat and plants. However, grizzlies are mostly carnivorous, meaning that they eat mostly meat. Their diet consists of fish, ungulates (deer), small mammals such as rodents, insects, and fruits and vegetables.

Their claws help them capture their prey. Grizzly bear claws can grow to be up to 4 inches long. They are curved and sharp, which helps the grizzlies catch their prey. The claws also help the bears climb trees.

Grizzly Bear Paw vs. Polar Bear Paw Size

Grizzly bears and polar bears are two of the largest land-based predators on Earth, but they’re still different in many ways. Their paws are no exception: grizzly bears have much larger paws than their polar cousins.

The average grizzly bear paw is about 15 inches long and 10 inches wide, while the average polar bear paw is only about 13 inches long and 6 inches wide.

That’s a difference of almost an inch in length and more than 2 inches in width! However, these measurements vary greatly depending on species and subspecies—some grizzlies have even been reported to grow as large as 20 inches across!

But why do grizzlies have such big paws? It’s all about weight distribution.

Grizzlies can weigh up to 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms), which makes it extremely difficult for them to walk on snow without sinking into it unless they’re using their claws for traction (which isn’t always possible).

By contrast, polar bears weigh half as much as grizzlies do and live primarily on ice instead of snow, so they don’t need such large feet.


If you are planning on ever seeing a Grizzly Bear then I would expect that you would have some basic knowledge about them.

One of the first things that many people want to know is how big Grizzly Bear claws and paws really are. Once you have that figured out then you will be able to better plan for living in the same area as these magnificent creatures.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>