Overview Image Gallery
They appear much like the new Beowolf, with black fur and bony spikes on their backs and arms, as well as white, bone-like masks with red detailing, but are much larger and stockier.
There are also larger Ursai in the world, known as Ursa Majors, and one was seen living in the Forever Fall forest. Like its smaller counterpart, it has bony spines and a skull mask with Grimm markings, but also possesses many bony plates on its back and limbs.
In the "Volume 5 Yang Character Short", the Ursa underwent another visual change, with a more angular head, prominent ears, and longer spikes at the ends of their mask. Like the new designs of the Volume 4 Beowolf, black smoke also seems to emanate from their bodies.
In "The Emerald Forest", while Yang Xiao Long is looking for someone in the Emerald Forest, she hears something in the bushes and wonders if it is her sister, Ruby Rose. However, two Ursai appear out of the bushes and attack. Yang fights them off almost playfully until one cuts off a tiny strand of her hair.
Yang goes berserk and punches one of the Ursai multiple times, launching it through a group of trees. She turns to confront the other one, but Blake Belladonna manages to kill it with a single strike from Gambol Shroud.
In "Players and Pieces", an Ursa rampages through the forest until it is in sight of Blake and Yang. The Ursa then collapses due to it being shot in the back, revealing that Nora Valkyrie had been riding it. The girl is left apparently saddened that it is "broken" and looks over the body to see if it was still alive.
An Ursa Major comes out of the woods and attacks Team CRDL and Jaune Arc in "Forever Fall, Pt.2". It appears to focus on Cardin Winchester due to the red sap on his body, similarly to how bears have been observed to show a strong enough appetite for honey to risk bee-stings to taste it, despite Grimm being commonly believed to not require sustenance. Despite the fact that Cardin bullied him, Jaune was willing to help his classmate by defending him.
An Ursa can be seen behind a Creep in the tunnels leading to Vale in "No Brakes". Later, the Ursai, including some Ursa Majors, enter the city when train breaks the barrier to Mountain Glenn in "Breach". Once again, Jaune fought an Ursa, but unlike with the Ursa Major, he managed to take it down on his own after a series of blows. Meanwhile, an Ursa Major was killed by Emerald Sustrai with her pistol scythes. Another was destroyed by Fox Alistair.
In "Beginning of the End", Ursai are among the Grimm that head towards the city of Vale, drawn by the negative emotions there.
In "Battle of Beacon", an Ursa can be seen getting knocked down by Jaune's shield charge.
In "Volume 5 Yang Character Short", Yang fights an Ursa on Patch.
In Grimm Eclipse, Ursai are among the creatures of Grimm encountered by Team RWBY in Forever Fall and Mountain Glenn.
Powers and Abilities
They are first shown in "The Emerald Forest" attacking Yang, though they don't manage to land a strike on her. It seems that they are slower, but possibly stronger than Beowolves, being able to shrug off several blasts from Ember Celica. They seem to prefer attacking in pairs, suggesting ties of pack or familial origins when hunting prey.
However, the Ursa Major that appeared in "Forever Fall, Pt.2" was far larger and stronger, effortlessly overpowering Cardin and managing to endure a direct slash to its unarmored belly from Jaune's sword. It was only defeated when Jaune decapitated it.
In Grimm Eclipse they can slam the earth beneath them to cause a line of rocks to protrude out of the ground as a long-ranged attack.
- Their name comes from the Latin word for bear.
- The fact that Yang fights these bear-like creatures in the woods could be an allusion to the fact she is based on Goldilocks, who also encountered bears.
- The name "Ursa Major" is likely a reference to the constellations of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
- Russel Thrush's lines referencing Ursai from "Forever Fall, Pt.2" were remixed into a techno song and music video, "That's a Big Ursa!", that is featured as an easter egg on the Volume 1 DVD. In the video, two Ursai can be seen dancing alongside Russel at Junior's Club. This remix is utilized as Jaune Arc's ringtone in "Breach".
- An Ursa was featured as one of the monsters in the Five Nights at Freddy's episode of Immersion, another series from Rooster Teeth.
- Nora recounts a dream where she makes money by selling Ursa-skin rugs; however, the Ursa (and its skin) would have evaporated upon death, as all Grimm do.