Are Bears Carnivores or Omnivores?

There are many different types of bears in the world, and they each have their own unique diet. Some people may think that all bears are carnivores, but this is not the case. In fact, some bears are actually herbivores! Others are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and meat. Keep reading to learn more about the diets of different bear species!

What Types of Bears Are Out There?

There are eight different species of bear in the world: 

  • American Black Bear
  • Asiatic Black Bear
  • Brown Bear
  • Giant Panda
  • Polar Bear
  • Sloth Bear
  • Sun Bear
  • Spectacled Bear

What do bears eat?

The diet of a particular bear depends on its species. But most will eat small mammals and plants. Let’s read more below to find out what each species eats in particular!

Are American Black Bear Carnivores or Omnivores?

American black bears are mostly omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. However, their diet consists mostly of fruits, nuts, roots, and insects. They will also eat small mammals, such as rodents, birds, and fish. 

Are Asiatic Black Bear Carnivores or Omnivores?

Asiatic black bears are primarily carnivores, but they are also considered to be omnivores. This means that their diet consists mostly of meat, but they will also eat plants if necessary. Asiatic black bears typically eat rodents, birds, and fish, but they will also eat fruits and vegetables if they are available.

Are Brown Bears Carnivores or Omnivores?

Brown bears are mostly omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. Brown bears typically eat small mammals, such as rodents, birds, and fish as well as grasses, roots, herbs, berries, and nuts.

Are Grizzly Bears Carnivores or Omnivores?

The Grizzly Bear are a subspecies of Brown Bears and are considered omnivores. 

Are Polar Bears Carnivores or Omnivores?

Polar bears are primarily carnivores, but they are also considered to be omnivores. This means that their diet consists mostly of meat, but they will also eat plants if necessary. Polar bears typically eat seals, but they will also eat berries and other plant material. 

Out of all the species of bear, the polar bear is the most carnivorous of them all. It is known as a hypercarnivore which means it has a diet of more than 70% meat.

Are Sloth Bears Carnivores or Omnivores?

Sloth bears are primarily carnivores, but they are also considered to be omnivores. This means that their diet consists mostly of meat, but they will also eat plants if necessary. Sloth bears typically eat insects, such as termites and ants. They will also eat fruits and vegetables if they are available.

Are Sun Bears Carnivores or Omnivores?

Sun bears also known as the honey bear are primarily carnivores, but they are also considered to be omnivores. This means that their diet consists mostly of meat, but they will also eat plants if necessary. Sun bears typically eat insects, such as termites and ants, bees, small rodents, and birds. They will also eat sweet fruits, honey and vegetables. 

Are Spectacled Bears Carnivores or Omnivores?

Spectacled bears are omnivores. They will eat mice, rabbits, and birds as well as berries, grasses, bulbs, cactus flowers.

Are Giant Pandas Herbivores or Omnivores?

The giant panda is the only bear species that is herbivorous, which means that its diet consists almost entirely of plants. It primarily eats bamboo shoots and leaves. According to WWF, 1% of a panda diet has meat. Giant pandas may hunt for pikas and other small rodents.

The Giant Panda used to eat meat more than 2.4 million years ago and still has the digestive system of a carnivore.

Are All Bears Omnivores?

So, yes all bears are omnivores as they can survive on both plants and animals. However, some may consider the polar bear to be carnivores as they mostly eat seals and rely on seal fat to survive the winter. While some may consider the giant pandas to be herbivores as 99% of their diet is bamboo. What do you think? 

Here is a skinny polar bear that is still surviving the winter.

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