Wild animals

What do Sharks Eat – Feeding and Diet

what do sharks eat

You may have been wondering what does sharks eat. Do they always eat seals or eat other sea creatures? Let’s find out in this article.

Many sharks prefer to eat fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. However, some sharks also like to eat mackerel, tuna, seals, sea lions, and other small sharks. Surprisingly, some sharks also eat seabirds.

Still on this article, we will look at what sharks eat, how sharks eat their prey, and what other species of sea creatures they choose to eat.

How Much Do shark eat?

How much sharks eat depends on the specie of shark. Some species of Shark will eat large amounts of food and will not eat for weeks. They can live on fat stored in the liver that they have eaten. When that goes down, they will fell hungry again and then hunt for food.

Sharks are cold blood, and that is why sharks do not need as much food as most people think; this means that they have a slow metabolism, and can burn energy at a lower rate.

For example, nurse sharks feed on very small amounts of food every day. However, large sharks such as bull sharks and tiger sharks eat a lot of food.

Great white sharks can go without food for up to a week. They travel long distances to find food. When they arrive at the feeding grounds, they hunt for seals. Some sharks eat up to 20% of their body weight in food.

Goblin sharks that live in deep water live on food waste that contains the carcasses of other marine life. Surprisingly, they tend to eat less. Surprisingly, they have a very slow metabolism. This means that it will take a while for the food to digest. Without a doubt, this means that they will not go hungry.

What Do Sharks Like to Eat?

Shark eating habits are very different when you consider the number of species that exist. The fact is that many sharks are carnivorous and very efficient predators, while some feed on plankton.

It depends on the type of shark as different species have different eating habits. Shark feeding also depends on where they live as this is a key factor in determining the type of prey available.

Shark food also changes to survive. Some sharks may prefer certain types of prey but when they are scarce, they adjust their eating habits to whatever is available.

Sharks are not picky with their food sources Some sharks are known to eat things that include coal, oil, litter and clothes that get into the water.

The shark classification is divided into two groups according to their diet: carnivorous sharks and planktivore sharks.

Carnivorous Sharks

The shark’s diet usually includes fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. Large species also feed on marine mammals such as dolphins, seals, sea lions, and porpoises, as well as large species of fish such as tuna, mackerel, and small sharks. Some even extend their feeding to seabirds.

Some sharks have certain preference when it comes to food. For example, the hammerhead shark (Sphyrnidae family) feeds almost exclusively on rays, the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) prefers turtles while the blue sharks (Prionace glauca) prefer squid and great white sharks prefer fatty food, so they will eat seals and occasionally seal turtles. Seals, for example, can be 50% fat. This makes it ideal for the great white sharks. This species of shark can eat up to 11 tons of food each year. People can eat up to half a ton.

Planktivore Sharks

These species of sharks feed on plankton, and they do not meet the traditional concept we have of sharks eating only meat. But it is true, and in fact, some species of sharks such as; the megamouth shark, basking shark and the whale shark prefer plankton over meat

Their process of feeding is suctioning water and filtrating the food through its long filaments. Sharks catch plankton in these filaments and swallow it when a certain amount accumulates. On average, the peregrine shark filters about 2 million liters of water every hour when it receives only 2 kg of plankton.

The shark’s digestive system is very different from that of mammals, and this is the reason for their slow digestion, their intestine being very small. When food passes from the mouth to the stomach, it is stored in the latter part and the digestive process begins. If the shark feels that any wrong food has been eaten, it is not digested, instead it is expelled through the mouth.

How do Sharks Hunt?

Shark hunting practices contribute to the survival of the fittest or familiar to the environment because sharks tend to make the weak or the sick their favorite target. In this way, the strongest survive, while the most vulnerable do not survive.

Many sharks have highly active ears and noses that help them hunt. Interestingly, great white sharks use their vision to help them hunt. Amazingly, they swim near the bottom of the sea bed. Once they see a seal, they swim very fast with so much speed to the surface of the water which makes it difficult for the seal to escape. The shark can reach the surface of the water in just 2 seconds.

The shark will bite the mark. It is amazing that the shark will move away from that seal. This is done so that the seal does not move and injure the shark. Without a doubt, if the seal dies, the shark will eat it immediately.

Most marine sharks are predatory animals that use camouflage or ambush tactics in their environment. Some benthic sharks only eat crustaceans, which they kill by crushing them with their teeth. On the other hand, it is common for some species to hunt together, to cooperate in order to obtain more prey than they do alone.

These are usually small sharks that do not need large amounts of food to survive.

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What is the Great White Shark’s favorite food?

When young large white sharks tend to eat fish and sometimes other sharks. Surprisingly, as the shark gets older, they will eat seals and sea lions. This prepares them for sharks. Large white sharks will also eat fish and occasionally sea turtles.

How many teeth can Shak have in their lifetime?

Most sharks can have as many as 3000. Some sharks have a few hundred teeth and some sharks have only 12 teeth. It is amazing that some sharks have two or three rows of teeth in their lower and upper jaws. This is because sharks lose their teeth from time to time. Their teeth have no roots. This means that they may easily break up. Some teeth can last only one week. Although, sharks can easily and quickly loose their teeth but they can never run out of teeth.

Are Shark Teeth Black?

No. They are usually a shade of white. However, when they lose their teeth, they will be buried in the sediment. The teeth will absorb some of the minerals around them. This is what makes their teeth black.

Carnivore sharks have sharp teeth that allow them to bite through the bones of their prey and cut them into pieces. Their teeth can be smooth or serrated and used to hold, cut or grind the victim according to the needs of each type. While great white sharks have sharpened triangular teeth, the teeth of tiger sharks have jagged edges used to crush the hard bodies of crustaceans.

Plankton’s teeth are small, though present; they do not use it when feeding.

Almost all sharks eat meat to some degree. And although it sounds incredible, they eat only 0.5 to 3.0 percent of their daily weight, because their chewing deficiency and they take a lot of time to digest their food.

Conclusion

Now you see, sharks eat variety of food. while most of them are carnivores, that is not the only thing they eat. they are not the only ones who eat meat. For millions of years, different species of sharks have been able to evolve. One reason for this is that they can easily adapt and eat what is readily available to stay healthy.

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