BIO 203


Although grizzly bears are part of the order Carnivora, they are actually omnivores, and depending on where they live, may primarily eat plants such as berries and nuts.

Inland Bears

Grizzlies that live inland in the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone National Park are usually smaller due to the lesser quality of food in these areas. Their diets consist mainly of whitebark pine nuts, tubers, berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries, and mammals such as ground squirrels, voles, elk, moose, and bison. Ungulates, mainly elk and bison are primary food resources for Yellowstone grizzly bears throughout the year (Fortin et al. 2013). For the larger game, the bears will either hunt them, or more likely, scavenge them as carrion… or kills of gray wolves and human hunters (Fortin et al. 2013).

Coastal Bears

Grizzlies living in Canada and Alaska have access to a greater variety of resources than the inland bears of the United States. The main advantage is living near coastal waters and streams where they can fish for salmon and other common food sources such as trout (Fortin et al. 2013). Grizzlies may also scavenge whale carcasses along the coast. The higher fat content of coastal food sources allow for the coastal grizzles to grow larger than inland grizzlies.

A common source of nutrition among all grizzly bears is the abundance of insects

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