Seals make up much of the polar bear’s diet. And luckily for polar bears seals are quite abundant in the Arctic. Polar bears would consume as much seals they possibly can. Seals are clearly the top priority on the polar bear’s menu. White bears would eat just about any kind of seal. The reason why polar bears fancy eating seals is that they get blubber from it. Not only do they consume adult seals, polar bears love to feed on seal pups. If you want to know how many different species of seals polar bears eat you can just visit the link. As of now, let’s see how do polar bears eat seals.
Do Polar Bears Eat Seals?
Ringed seals are the smallest but the most abundant species in the entire Arctic. The ringed seal’s population is in millions. According to estimates, there are 2.5 million ringed seals inhabiting the Arctic. That is why they are the most common prey of polar bears. Studies suggest that the entire polar bear population eats up to one million seals each year.
Similarly, bearded seals are the second most essential polar bear prey species. Though they are the biggest of the seals, bearded seals do not stand a chance against the Arctic’s deadliest predator—polar bear. Although less so often polar bears also prey on harbor seals, spotted seals, and hooded seals.
Read More: Do Polar Bears Eat Penguins?
Harbor seals are temperate species and thus they are less likely to be on the polar bear’s menu. However, polar bears inhabiting Greenland, North America, and Svalbard are known to prey on harbor seals more than any other polar bear population. Spotted seals particularly fall prey to those polar bear populations which are found in the Chukchi and Bering seals.
While ringed seals are the most common prey the ribbon seals are probably the most uncommon prey for polar bears. Nonetheless, polar bears are opportunistic hunters and they will be more than willing to consume ribbon seals if they find one along the way.
Hooded seals are probably not the easiest of the preys. They weigh more than 600 pounds. They are much bigger than harp seals. Bears rarely take the risk of feeding adult hooded seals. They will mostly feed on hooded seal’s pups that lounge on the sea ice for weeks until they take to the water and begin feeding.