Black and also grizzly bears space omnivores, even though lock belong come the Carnivora order. They eat both meat and plants, return plants and berries space the key component of your diet.

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However, panda bears space strictly herbivores and polar bear are virtually entirely carnivores.


The bears’ digestive systems are similar to those of other carnivores, other than for their elongated digestive tract, do it less complicated for bear to digest vegetation prefer plants, roots, and berries efficiently.

A bear’s diet can readjust to adapt to the weather or habitat the in. Because that example, once bears leave their dens in the spring short article hibernation, that not unusual for them come exist ~ above a diet of available berries and also winter-killed carrion prefer moose, deer, or fish.

So, the lot of meat lock eat really alters depending top top the periods as well. Generally, they eat much more plants, herbs and berries than meat.

What You will Learn display
summary Table: space Bears Carnivores, Herbivores, or Omnivores?
Why Is It daunting to share Bears together Strict Carnivores or Herbivores?
are All bears Omnivores?
room Panda bear Herbivores?
space Polar bear Carnivores?
Why are Some bears Herbivores or Carnivores when Others space Omnivores?

Summary Table: room Bears Carnivores, Herbivores, or Omnivores?

Type the BearClassificationCommon Diet
Black BearsOmnivoreBerries, Herbs, Seeds, Nuts, Carrion Meat, Fish, Ungulates (deer, moose)
Polar BearsCarnivoreSeals, Whale Carcass, Bird Eggs
Giant PandasHerbivoreBamboo
Brown BearsOmnivoreFish, Berries, Herbs, Seeds, Nuts, Carrion Meat, Ungulates (deer, moose).
Grizzly BearsOmnivoreBerries, Herbs, Seeds, Nuts, Carrion Meat, Fish, Ungulates (deer, moose).

Why Is It an overwhelming to divide Bears together Strict Carnivores or Herbivores?

There are eight distinct types of bear in total, and also they populate various parts the the world. Animal professionals tend come classify bears together omnivores because, ~ above the whole, a bear’s diet is about 70 to 80 percent plant-based.

Bears need protein, i beg your pardon they get from meat consumption. Their overall intake likewise needs to include animal fats come ensure optimal power levels, load levels, and also fertility.

That means, at times, bears will consume meat – i beg your pardon is normally the prime source of protein in the wild.

People are largely confused about pinning under bears as strict carnivores and also herbivores due to the fact that their diet also change according to the food source available locally and also seasonally.

For example, that not unusual for black bears to move from eating huge amounts that insects, roots, and berries to gorging top top fish or carrion roughly fall.

That’s because, during the autumn months, black bears get in a step of hyperphagia together their bodies start gearing up because that hibernation. That and also a lack of plant-based food resources pushes them come eat meat in the kind of fish and animals like moose claves, elk, etc.

Conversely, bears favor the sloth bear the live in warmer climates and have no need for hibernation (due come a steady supply of food every year-round) rely much more on fruits, vegetables, and also insects.

Are every Bears Omnivores?

Before answering if all bears qualify as omnivores, let’s take it a moment to discover the different types of bear worldwide.

Bears are native to four out of seven continents, including North and South America, Asia, and Europe. The eight bear varieties (and sub-species) found in these components are:

North American black bearsPolar bearsGiant PandasBrown bearsSpectacled bearsSun bearsAsiatic black bears

Only two of the eight bear species – gigantic pandas and also Polar bear – are described as strict herbivores or carnivores. Here’s why.

Are Panda bears Herbivores?

Giant pandas are indigenous to the forests in the mountains of southwest China and also subsist nearly entirely on a diet that bamboo. So, they’re considered strict herbivores.

That’s a little an overwhelming to believe due to the fact that of how large these animals can grow, however it’s true nonetheless.

Scientists believe that the ancestors the pandas were omnivorous, like many other bear species.

However, pandas switched come a bamboo-intensive diet over the years because the woody grass is abundant in the area lock inhabit. Much more importantly, castle didn’t need to fight anyone over the food source.

That’s also why panda physiology appears to have altered over time to include jaws and teeth that are more suited come crushing and chewing bamboo. Another fascinating adjust was the elongation that the species’ wrist bone to aid them grasp bamboo stalks.

Researchers have likewise discovered the pandas are drawn to eat bamboos due to the fact that of your protein content. So, in a way, they’re pretty similar to their other bear cousins.

The only difference is the pandas adapted their diet to incorporate a food source that supplies the protein they require without searching or scavenging for meat.

The only downside is that bamboo is quite high in fiber content too. That means pandas have to eat about 40 pounds that the ingredient to for sure they’re gaining all the nutrient they need. That’s why pandas qualify together the only bear species that are strict herbivores.

Related: What Eats Pandas?

Are Polar bears Carnivores?

As the name suggests, Polar bears are aboriginal to the Arctic one of the north Pole. They’re common in parts of Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Norway.

Polar bears are classified together carnivores due to the fact that their diet consists virtually entirely the ringed or bearded seals.

Remember, bears are good at adapting your diet according to their habitat.

And, due to the fact that vegetation or a plant-based diet isn’t something that’s easily uncovered in the freezing areas they inhabit – polar bears gain by ~ above the fat and protein obtained from your prey. The digestive system of a polar bear repurchase 97% the the fat and 84% that the protein it requirements from this diet.

That’s likewise why polar bears will regularly frequent areas of sea ice near open waters, wherein they have higher chances the running into their food source – the seals.

Over the years, polar bears have additionally evolved into coming to be excellent swimmers, however they deserve to still drown if a lengthy storm hits while they’re searching for prey.

Polar bear are likewise known to eat whale dead body or walruses as soon as seals are scare. Lock can likewise survive top top seal pups and bird eggs.

Why space Some bears Herbivores or Carnivores if Others space Omnivores?

Aside indigenous the truth that a bear’s diet relies on the habitat, another vital factor that affects what bears eat is their very own physiology.

For instance, brown bears are pretty famed for feasting top top fish. And in huge part, their long and sharp claws space what help them catch fast-moving salmons native streams and also rivers.

Polar bears have much shorter and trickster claws that room thick and also curved to assist grip slippery seals better. And, huge pandas have longer and stronger wrist bones that aids in grasping bamboo stalks.

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The allude is, evolution and advancement also play rather a far-reaching role in how bears hunt and what castle eat.