When do Sharks Feed

Typically, people consume food three times a day, but if you are physically active, you may need to consume a few times more, be it snacks or beverages. But what about the sharks? Do most people think that they eat all the time? Given their size and weight, it seems to be accurate, but what about in reality? Considering their importance to the ocean world, we need to find out when do sharks feed? 

Sharks are predatory animals, and they have been here for ages, long before the dinosaurs or trees existed. Being the top predators, they have ruled the ocean world since then and will continue to do so since sharks only have a few natural predators, such as the Orcas. Other than that, sharks are on the top of the food chain and thus, have an incredible role to play in maintaining healthy blue oceans.

Sharks are spread throughout the world’s water and come in all different sizes, forms, and colors. So much so that more than 500 species have been discovered so far, and yet many are left to be explored.

With that said, sharks are considered to be giant-sized animals and are believed that they eat a lot at all times. But, in reality, when sharks feed mainly depend on species to species.

From the largest species (the whale shark), which can reach a size of approximately 60 feet, to the smallest (dwarf lantern shark), which is only about a few inches long and can fit in your hand, the feeding behavior and the amount of food consumed varies with each type.  

While it is clear that all sharks need to eat food in order to survive, especially the large species that need plenty of food, the thing is, at what time do they eat, and how frequently. In other words, we can say that we need to find out the time of the day during which the sharks are most active because sharks are most active during hunting or when searching for food.

The time at which sharks are most active is likely going to be the period when sharks feed. So, let’s explore it.

When are sharks most active?

Typically, sharks are most active when they are looking to attack their prey. However, this also depends on the particular location, the season, and the habitat. For example, more people visit oceans and beaches during summer, and therefore, sharks are likely to be spotted on the shore.

Remember that shark attacks occur mainly due to human provocation, and if you do not disturb them, they will not attack. However, sharks of any size pose a threat, and you must keep a safe distance.

Sharks species such as the great white or the tiger sharks are known for the most number of attacks on humans. Therefore, if you spot these species, you must immediately get out of the water or seek help. The names of other dangerous sharks can be found here.

With that said, during dusk and dawn, sharks search for food most actively. So if you don’t want to become a target, you should avoid the evening time and early morning going into the water.

Besides, you should be aware of the signs when sharks attack so that you can save yourself from encountering such situations.

What time do sharks start feeding?

There is a general feeding period for sharks between dusk and dawn, but as is the case with many predators, sharks feed when they come across prey unless they have just eaten. When you look at the shark’s diet, you will find out that they prey on a variety of marine animals and that they are present in large numbers. Besides, there are several shark species that prefer and live on plankton.

It mainly depends from species to species on what kind of food they like to eat. For instance, check out what mako sharks eat, what leopard sharks eat, and what basking sharks eat. 

Are sharks night feeders?

While it is commonly believed that sharks are nocturnal animals, they mostly hunt during the night. But as we have read above, it’s not exactly how it is. Nevertheless, most sharks hunt at night as it seems easier to them to target their prey during the dark hours.

This is particularly dependent on the species, location, and, most importantly, habitat condition.


It is fascinating to observe sharks and to learn about their wide range of diets, which mainly consist of marine life that remains underwater, including fishes, crustaceans, seals, squid, turtles, etc. However, when it comes to when sharks feed, there is no particular time, but most often, you will see them looking for food at the time of sunset and sunrise. Other than that, sharks may eat anytime they feel like starving.

Find out what does sharks taste like if you want to have sharks in your diet, and also check out the restaurants serving sharks. 

About the author

Yumna Ahmad

An experienced content writer, photographer, and avid reader amazed by the sea world and its creatures. I am lettin people become fascinated with the ocean planet through my writings.