Research Highlights: Bear diet is mostly low-protein and high carbohydrate/high fat

Melursus ursinus (sloth bear) at Bannerghatta National Park. By Rameshng – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Bear diet is mostly low-protein and high carbohydrate/high fat

  • There are eight species of bears around the world that consume a wide range of diets.
  • Polar bears, giant pandas, and sloth bears are considered specialists which seek specific foods while others are considered generalists.
  • Bears evolved from a high-protein carnivore; however, researchers speculated that all have become low-protein consumers.
  • Consuming foods with inappropriate nutrients has been linked to increased energy usage, lower health, lower reproductivity, and early death.
  • Researchers conducted feeding and preference trials with sloth bears and giant pandas, an ant-feeding and termite specialist.
  • Both sloth bears and giant pandas separated from their ancestral lineage more than one million years ago before polar bears and brown bears existed.
  • Researchers discovered that giant pandas mostly consume high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet.
  • Additionally, sloth bears consume low-protein, high-fat diet.
  • The preference for low protein foods seemingly occurred early in the evolution of bears and may have been an important factor to their global distribution.


Robbins, C.T., Christian, A.L., Vineyard, T.G. et al. Ursids evolved early and continuously to be low-protein macronutrient omnivores. Sci Rep 12, 15251 (2022).


Related Links:

Research Abstract: How Much Lox Is a Grizzly Bear Worth? How Much Lox Is a Grizzly Bear Worth?

Research Highlights: Reports of Giant Panda Attacking Humans. Dogs, bears, pigs, sharks, wolves, and monkeys are among the other animals that rarely attack humans. However, the giant panda attack has not …

Why Giant Pandas Remain Chubby Despite Low-Fat Diet? Jan 18, 2022 — panda bear eating bamboo leaves in zoo. Photo by Alotrobo on Why Giant Pandas Remain Chubby Despite Low-Fat Diet?


Research Abstract: Using Grizzly Bears to Assess Harvest … Abstract: Using grizzly bears as surrogates for “salmon ecosystem” function, the authors develop a generalizable ecosystem-based management framework that …

Natural-trap ursid mortality and the Kurtén Response. Wolverton S.

Demographic connectivity for ursid populations at wildlife crossing structures in Banff National Park. Sawaya MA, Clevenger AP, Kalinowski ST.

Polar bear diet in the face of Arctic climate change. Tseng ZJ.

Leave a Reply