Comments: Seals are primary food source; especially ringed, also bearded and harp seals. May hunt larger animals such as beluga whales and walruses and consumes fish, small mammals, bird eggs and sometimes vegetation, especially in summer when other food is unavailable. Pregnant females may fast for 8 months while in maternal dens (Derocher et al. 1992, Amstrup 2003). Reportedly are surplus killers, but do not normally cache prey they have killed. They consume the highest-fat portions of seals first and young or smaller bears may be driven away from kills by larger bears (Amstrup 2003). This species apparently digests fat more easily than protein and uses metabolic water released from fat metabolism, an efficient adaptation to the arctic environment where energy is otherwise required to melt ice and snow to make water available (Amstrup 2003).
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