Polar bears are the largest carnivorous land mammals on Earth. They are about seven to eight feet long, measured from the nose to the tip of their very short tail. Male polar bears are much larger than the females. A large male can weigh more than 1,700 pounds, while a large female is about half that size (up to 1,000 pounds). Bears can weigh about 50 percent more after a successful hunting season than they do at the start of the next; most of this additional weight is accumulated fat. A newborn polar bear weighs only about 1.5 pounds.
Bears are opportunistic feeders, and will occasionally hunt more difficult prey such as beluga whales, narwhals and walrus. Polar bears can detect a carcass from nearly 20 miles away with their extraordinary sense of smell and will feed on the bodies of beached bowhead whales and other remains. They’ll also eat fish, shellfish, waterfowl, eggs, rodents and hares. Larger land mammals such as caribou and muskox are difficult to catch, as polar bears overheat quickly due to their thick coats, but they stand a better chance when targeting a young or sickly animal. Polar bears will investigate human garbage dumps if they are not properly secured—Churchill closed its landfill in 2006 due to this problem, and now trash is transported outside of town.
Polar bears are greedy animals but they know what they must eat in order to survive in the arctic. In seals bears eat the fatty part which is blubber. The polar bear’s stomach is large enough to hold up to 50 – 90 kilograms of meal in one time. They are known to consume 10 kilograms of blubber in less than 30 minutes. In Russia, a captive female bear ate up to 80 kg of sea blubber in one-half of a day.
Diet Of A Polar Bear
Unlike other bear species, polar bears are almost exclusively meat eaters (carnivorous). They mainly eat ringed seals, but may also eat bearded seals. Polar bears hunt seals by waiting for them to come to the surface of sea ice to breathe. When the seal nears the surface, the polar bear will bite or grab the seal and pull it onto land to feed. They also eat walruses and whale carcasses. Polar bears will search out bird eggs and other food sources, but none of these are abundant enough to sustain the large body mass and dense populations of polar bears.
Behavior Of A Polar Bear
Polar bears tend to live solitary lives except when mating, when a female raising her cubs forms a family group, or when many bears are attracted to a food source like a beached whale. Young polar bears spending the summer ashore on the Hudson Bay coast will frequently play with each other, most commonly with their siblings. Polar bears near Churchill on the coast of Hudson Bay are even known to play with chained sled dogs without killing them, which they could easily do.
What Do Polar Bears Eat – Polar Bears Diet
Polar bears are the most carnivorous member of the bear species. Other bear species are omnivorous but polar bears’ habitat is devoid of vegetation so their diet mostly consists of meat. They are the powerful and top predators of the arctic region. These gigantic bears are marine mammals and they spend most of their time on Arctic ice sheets. Their adaptations to harsh climate let them move across land, sea, and ice. We have researched and gathered the whole information on “What Do Polar Bears Eat” and list down the menu of Polar Bears Diet.
How Much Do Polar Bears Eat A Day?
It’s not every day that polar bears find animals they need to eat. Bears must rely on small animals if they couldn’t find one of their favorite meals (seals). In the harsh Arctic environment it is reasonable to assume that bears spend several weeks in starvation because the weather keeps changing and the prey keeps moving and so as the bear. White bears supplement their food source with reindeer, waterfowl, muskox, kelp, berries, and small rodents.
How Much Seals Do Polar Bears Eat A Year?
No wonder it’s a mammoth task to observe the bear’s diet each year. There is no absolute estimate for the number of seals a polar bear kill a year probably because the bear’s home range is too wide to cover. Scientists have studied the dietary behavior of polar bears in the Canadian High Arctic and Devon Island.
The polar bear’s stomach is large enough to hold up to 50 – 90 kilograms of meal in one time. They are known to consume 10 kilograms of blubber in less than 30 minutes.
They studied the behavior from early April to early August when much of sea ice disappears. It means that biologists have not been able to know the precise behavior of polar bears for nearly 68 – 70% of the year. The Canadian High Arctic remains in darkness for the rest of the months. Besides, the polar bear’s habitat is extremely remote—making it impossible for scientists to observe the animal’s predatory behavior.
How Do Polar Bears Catch Their Prey?
Seals spend 90% of their day underwater. However, ringed seals are mammals and have to breathe. It is at this time when they become visible and are vulnerable to polar bears.
Seals spend most of their time underwater under deep layers of ice, making it difficult for the polar bear to locate. Seals use holes in the ice to the surface and breathe.
How Do Polar Bears Get Their Food?
Polar bears have incredible claws with which to grab prey so that it doesn’t escape. They use their claws, whether it’s waiting for their prey to breathe in an ice vent or viewing it from afar and cautiously approaching.
The polar bear is an explorer who undertakes long walks to find prey that can satisfy their hunger.
How Many Seals Does A Polar Bear Eat?
On average, the polar bear needs to eat a seal every five to six days for its body to produce enough fat to survive each year. This is a minimum amount, and if they are lucky to get more food, they will feed more frequently.
The fat produced by the polar bear becomes one of its main protective layers against the cold. Polar bears must constantly be building up their fat to not draw on their energy reserves. A polar bear must hunt about six seals a month, equivalent to about 1 and a quarter meals a week.