Sharks are known as a scary and aggressive creature of the ocean, they are the top predators of the food web as well but who on Earth would be crazy enough to attack and eat sharks? Nature has always kept a check and balance to maintain the number of species, as one species eats the other to uphold equilibrium in the food chain. So what animals eat sharks? Let’s move on to find out about the courageous mortals that can take on the sharks without any fear!
What animals eat sharks?
Animals like killer whales are known as the biggest predator of the sharks, other than that some species of sharks also attack their own fellows. Seals, giant groupers, osprey, sea lions and crocodiles are also included in the list of predators because they feed on small and young sharks. By far, humans are considered as the most threatening predators of the sharks as they catch sharks for their fins, meat and oil.
Listed below some animals that attack sharks and even feed on them!
- Bull shark
- Orcas – the killer whale
- The Great White shark
- The Great Hammerhead shark
- Giant Groupers
- Tiger sharks
1: Bull shark
There is a famous saying about bull sharks “if a bull shark catches it, a bull shark will eat it”. Bull sharks are ranked as the third most hazardous species among the shark kingdom because they have exceptional voracious instincts for the prey. Bull sharks mostly feed on small sharks, they first hit their prey, make it unconscious and then enjoy their meal.
2: Orcas – the killer whale
Orcas – the killer whale! Sounds like a villain of the ocean! Orcas are basically a cosmopolitan whale species that are found in almost all the oceans of the planet but rarely in the Arctic Ocean, Black Sea and Baltic Sea. Orcas can easily be distinguished from the rest of the whale’s species as they have black and white patched skin with white big round eyes on the side of their head.
Did you know why Orcas are named as killer whales? No? They are capable of engulfing the entire shark! Stunned! Yes that’s right! They eat the whole shark that comes into their vicinity without being hesitated. Now you probably want to know which species of sharks they prefer – the answer will astound you, they loved to grasp the Great White Shark, tear them up and feed on their fatty liver! Shocked!!!
However, some studies depicted that the attack of Orcas on the population of Great White Sharks is a major cause of disappearance of white sharks from some regions such as False Bay – near the coast of Cape Town, South Africa.
3: The Great White shark
As you know, the Great White sharks are very famous in the oceanic world because of their aggressive nature, almost half of the attacks of fishes on humans reported till date are caused by the white sharks. The white sharks feed on any kind of fish including small sharks which come in their way, they have large mouths with nearly 300 sharpened teeth which helps them to grab a prey or to compete with other sharks for food– the hammerhead shark!
4: The Great Hammerhead shark
The Great Hammerhead shark – another predatory evil! They feed and prey on small species of sharks as well as stingrays as both are the main course of their diet. Do you know why they are called hammerheads? They are named so as the shape of their head resembles closely to a hammer with eyes on both sides of the head that can help them to spot the prey easily. They always compete with Great White sharks for the purpose of food as both are the large creatures of the oceans. Though, the IUCN has listed the Great Hammerhead shark as a critically endangered species!
5: Giant Groupers
Giant grouper! The type of fish mostly found in Australia’s coastline, they are capable of eating the whole shark – another enormous monster of the ocean! The size of giant grouper is 8 feet in length with a weight of 800 lbs, they are the largest creatures of the reefs. The big moth with seven rows of sharp and pointed teeth in the lower jaws helps them to eat the whole shark or fishes.
6: Tiger sharks
Tiger sharks are entitled “waste basket of the ocean”, they eat everything that fits into their mouth but mostly they love to eat small baby sharks. They are mostly found swimming in the deep shallow water of the temperate and tropical regions, they are relatable to tigers as they have similar stripes pattern on the skin. After the Great White sharks, they are the second most precarious sharks known to attack human – deadly hunters!
Meeeeeee! Yes you! You are one of the most threatening mortals to the sharks, humans are the big predators of the sharks, especially the people of Asia, they catch sharks for their fins, oil and of course meat. However, in some parts of the world it is legal to eat the meat of sharks but it is banned in many regions as well. Previously, sharks were caught only and only for the fins but nowadays, they are killed for their protein rich meat – how cruel!
Well, other creatures living in the ocean are also brave enough to attack on sharks and eat them but the shark’s species is not the only food item they eat. Some species are enlisted here:
- Crocodiles: They feed on bull sharks
- Sea lion: They loved to have leopard sharks
- Osprey: They can pray bonnet-head sharks
- Goliath groupers: They attack on black-tip reef sharks mostly
What does it conclude?
No doubt, sharks are the top predators of the food web, they maintain a balance by eating the small and weak species but they protect themselves from other predators as well. Animals that feed on sharks are orcas, giant groupers and of course humans. Some species of sharks also eat their own fellows including bull sharks, the great white shark, the great hammerhead shark and tiger shark!