We all have felt at some point or another that humans are the sharks’ favorite meal. No one is to blame, but most of the mental shift has come from movies. What are the chances that it’s actually true or just a myth? Well, shark attacks do happen at some locations in the world, but there is hardly any case that reports sharks eating humans altogether.
The misconception has been around due to the fact that not much has been known about sharks’ diet and what they like to eat. For this, the blog is going to cover what is a shark’s diet so that the next time you see a shark, you won’t have to think about getting swallowed into the shark’s mouth.
There is not a single species, but over 500 species of sharks are found in all the world’s oceans. With that being said, the food preferences might differ with each species. However, the main course almost remains the same.
As a matter of fact, sharks are known to be the top predators of the oceans, and they are indeed helpful in regulating marine food webs. Within the marine ecosystem, sharks keep a balance in population and keep prey densities at levels. This allows species diversity to flourish and helps maintain a healthy ocean.
Do you know sharks eat weak fishes and other marine animals and leave us a healthy population? See how great the sharks are.
All types of ocean life, from the smallest fish to the biggest one, have been preyed upon by sharks. But what does their diet include in particular? Let’s find it out.
What do sharks eat?
Even though sharks devour any kind of marine life, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which means their prey will differ according to their species and where they live. The species type, size, and location will make an impact on food preferences. As said earlier, sharks are not choosy when it comes to food; however, certain species eat some food more than others.
All in all, sharks eat anything ranging from fish to crustaceans to mollusks to marine mammals and even other sharks. However, to get it clear, let’s categorize the food likings and see what the shark diet consists of.
Be it any type or any size; the fish is the most common prey among all. Sharks hunt the prey by using lateral lines, which are sensory receptors located on the sides. Don’t be mistaken when it comes to shark senses. If you have heard about sharks being deaf or blind, do find out the truth here.
Mollusks eaten by sharks include familiar creatures such as clams, snails, slugs, and squid, as well as creatures you may not have seen before, such as tusk shells and chitons.
Usually, the sharks that are small in size depend on mollusks for their diet. Small, shelled animals are their preferred prey. Large sharks eat larger mollusks, such as octopuses and squid; take hammerhead as an example, as they tend to eat squid or octopus in huge numbers. Blue sharks also prefer to have squid in their diet.
Seals and Sea Lions
Due to their spending so much time in the water, seals and sea lions make perfect prey for large sharks. For example, great white sharks prey largely on pinnipeds, such as seals and sea lions.
Crustacean-eating sharks are generally bottom dwellers or sharks that live near the seafloor. With that said, all types of crustaceans make excellent meals for sharks, such as crabs, lobsters, shrimp, krill, amphipods, and barnacles.
The great white shark or the tiger shark often look for the big fishes, or you can say the powerful ones. Dolphins are no exception. As big and powerful as these sharks are, they are able to outrun and suppress other large marine life. However, when sharks hunt marine mammals, they select the weakest individuals within a group. Do check out if sharks are scared of dolphins or not.
Out of all shark species, a few of the sharks rely on plankton for their diet. These include the basking shark, megamouth shark, and the whale shark. Fish possess special gills that sift through water in search of planktonic algae and creatures.
Are sharks carnivores?
A shark is a carnivore, which means it consumes invertebrates and large mammals in the ocean, including seals, mackerel, tuna, squid, stingrays, and the things mentioned above.
There is no perfect diet when it comes to sharks. Most of the time, the sharks eat whatever is easy to get at a particular time. However, different species prefer some food over others, but the fact remains the same that all sharks mainly rely on other marine life. Aside from that, most sharks are known to be carnivores, meaning they will consume other animals, typically marine life. You shouldn’t be disheartened next time you see sharks if they don’t eat what you put in front of them.