Polar Bears and Arctic Foxes both live in the Arctic region and some areas may share the same habitat. Since both are carnivores, there is a fairly good chance that they may encounter each other in search of food. Arctic foxes usually hunt Lemmings (a rodent found in the arctic region) and will eat anything it can find in the frozen tundra. Arctic Fox also goes for scavenging the hunt left by other predators like polar bears. The polar Bear is the apex predator of the arctic region and no other predator can stand in their way. We do know that polar bears do eat fish and other animals if it is unable to find their regular diet i.e. seal. The question here arises that Do Polar Bears Eat Arctic Foxes as they also live in the same habitat. Will it kill one if it is unable to find anything else to eat? Continue reading as we have discussed this in detail below.
Do Polar Bears Eat Arctic Foxes
- Yes, the polar bear does eat Arctic Foxes but only when it is unable to find its regular prey to hunt which is bearded and ringed seals.
- So polar bears will only go for hunting arctic foxes when their regular food is scarce and they will eat anything to satisfy their hunger.
- It is only in summer when a polar bear is unable to hunt seals and thus it goes for other land mammals to support its diet.
- In summer the ice-floes retreats in the arctic region and become so thin that they are unable to hold the weight of the polar bear. Polar bears need to stand on ice-floes to hunt seals as catching seals in the open water is very hard for them.
Polar Bear and Arctic Fox Relationship
- Polar bears and arctic foxes interact a lot with each other. Their relationship is not of a regular predator and prey.
- When food is scarce for Arctic foxes, they go for scavenging. They follow other big predators such as polar bears to feed on their leftovers. Polar bears usually eat the blubber from the seal and leave the remaining carcass. Arctic foxes then feed on the carcass.
- When food is scarce for both the polar bears and arctic foxes, they both may go for scavenging as both are opportunistic predators and will eat anything that comes on their way. There is a possibility that both might pursue the same dead carcass and the polar bears might try to hunt the arctic fox. If the polar bear succeeds in hunting the arctic fox it will eat it to survive.
- However, if there are plenty of seals available for the polar bears to hunt then polar will never eat an arctic fox even if it is easier to capture than the seals.
- The arctic fox-like polar bear also has certain adaptations which enable it to escape predators. It has a luxurious white coat that helps it in blending in the snow and camouflage itself for safety and hunting purposes.
- Arctic foxes are very smart, they keep a safe distance when they follow polar bears for scavenging food in desperate times.
- The top speed for the arctic fox is 45 km/h while that of the polar bear is 40 km/h. So there is a fairly good chance for the arctic fox to outrun the polar bear if it is chased. On the other hand, a polar bear might be able to outrun a sick arctic fox and eat it.
Learn more: What Do Polar Bears Eat