One important trait is their thick layer of blubber. Like other arctic animals, this layer of fat helps insulate species from the cold. Consequently, polar bears have adapted to subsist on a blubber-rich, high-fat diet of marine species.
Do polar bears eat fat?
Polar bears eat copious amounts of fat. Their diet consists mostly of plump seals, and fat accounts for as much as 50 percent of a bear’s body weight.
Why do polar bears have a high fat diet?
In the Arctic regions where they live, energy is in high demand and polar bears have lots of fatty tissue to do the job. Up to half their body weight can be fat and their source of fresh water is metabolic water – water that is a by-product of the breakdown of fat in the body, Lorenzen said.
What is the 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.
How much fat do polar bears have?
Their bodies are designed to be lined with a cozy layer of fat, which can be up to 3.4 inches thick. This fat not only helps polar bears keep warm, but acts as an energy store for slow hunting periods.
How do polar bears use lipids?
Within a few months (generally from April to July), polar bears feed actively and can accumulate up to 50% of their body mass as lipids, through consumption of seal blubber during the ringed seal (Pusa hispida) pupping and moulting periods24.
Why do polar bears have 42 teeth?
Polar bears have 42 teeth, which they use for catching food and for aggressive behavior. Polar bears use their incisors to shear off pieces of blubber and flesh. Canine teeth grasp prey and tear tough hides.
How do genes play a role in polar bears adaptations?
Genes showing the strongest signal of positive selection are involved in adipose tissue development, fatty acid metabolism, heart function, and fur pigmentation , indicating these are key processes in polar bear adaptation to the Arctic.
Do polar bears eat leopard seals?
Do Polar Bears eat Leopard Seals? Polar Bears are famously known for their seal diets. However, Leopard Seals do not visit the northern polar waters. Therefore, polar bears never have a realistic chance to try.
Do polar bears eat sharks?
But can they digest them, absolutely polar bears eat fish and sharks are exactly that, fish. On the other hand if the shark was dead they could probably eat it, but otherwise if they met in the water the polar bear would be a gonner. They will also eat whales if a dead one washes up, but they don’t really hunt them.
Do polar bears eat Arctic foxes?
While ringed and bearded seals are the polar bears’ primary targets, they also hunt harp, hooded and ribbon seal when available. Where seals are plentiful, the polar bears eat only the fat of the animal, leaving the rest for scavengers such as foxes, ravens and other bears.