Source: D4K: “Bears"
Visit the D4K companion Web site to learn more about Bears. D4K: “Bears"
This video segment from IdahoPTV's D4K shows bears' adaptations for eating. These include prehensile lips, and claws. It explains that they have to eat a lot before their winter hibernation.
Joan Cartan-Hansen: Bears are omnivores. That means they eat both plants and animals. Since they don’t eat during hibernation, black bears are very thin and hungry when they come out of their dens in the spring.
They immediately begin feeding on grass, wild onions and other green plants. Bears must eat constantly during the spring, summer and fall in order to survive during the winter hibernation.
They have special adaptations that allow them to uncover a variety of foods. Bears use their strong claws to rip at the bark of trees. Underneath, they find insects to eat.
Of course bears love honey but they also like to feed on the bees that produce the honey.
Another adaptation is their ability to pluck berries or flowers from a bush with their prehensile or flexible lips. A bear’s lips can bend and grasp much like our fingers.
In Idaho, berries make up a critical part of a bear’s diet in late summer and fall.
Black bears can also eat meat, especially carrion – decaying dead animals when they can find them.
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