With the diversity of sharks, you can certainly expect that they also have varied tastes when it comes to food. However, it is important to point out that humans are not a typical part of the shark diet, as what most of us might have led to believe in. So what do sharks eat? Their food can consist of the tiniest sea creatures like plankton to larger ones such as whales; this would depend, of course, on the kind of shark being pertained to. Hence, let us classify these sharks based on the kind of food that they eat.
Whale and basking sharks, the two of the largest of sharks are examples of filter feeders. That is, these sharks feed on tiny prey by letting them flow into their mouth and gills. After spotting an ideal spot for having a meal, they open their mouths to let water through, also bringing in their food which consists mainly of plankton (tiny organisms which float in bodies of water). The water will then be expelled through their gills. The term “filter feeding” is derived from this behavior of eating since it involves filtering through the water for them to collect their food.
Small Fish, Mollusks and Crustacean Eaters
Sharks which are usually found at the ocean floor, such as angel and nurse sharks, are examples of these sea creatures that have small fishes (e.g. herring and anchovy), crustaceans (e.g. crabs and crayfish) and mollusks (e.g. squid and octopus) as a part of their diet. Another type of shark, the saw shark, also has this kind of diet. They are also known to love the deep and can also be found on the bottom of the sea. Each of these sharks has their own ways of capturing their prey. In the case of angel sharks, their brownish gray color allows them to camouflage with the sand and rocks of the ocean floor, this is where they wait until prey will swim by for them to catch.
Medium Fish and Small Shark Eaters
Some of the sharks who have the above mentioned as their food are the bull and blue sharks. Bull sharks are known to not be so picky with their food. However, they are fond of eating bony fishes such as flounders, stingrays, and even other sharks like the hammerhead shark. Bull sharks have been known to attack humans and are considered dangerous by many; this is due to the fact that they can be very territorial. On the other hand, blue sharks share a similar diet to bull sharks. They are known to be fond of preying on schools of squid. Fishes like tuna, small sharks and dead marine mammals also comprise their choice of food.
Large Fish and Marine Mammal Eaters
Great white sharks have a reputation for being carnivorous and are among sharks which like having large fish or marine mammals for their meal. They are known to target large fish and other marine mammals for their food. A great white’s diet includes sea lions, dolphins, smaller whales and other sharks. Their sharp teeth allow them to rip apart their large prey into small pieces so that it will be easy for them to do the swallowing.
It is a relief to learn that humans aren’t normally part of a “what do sharks eat” list. As what can be inferred from this list, sharks rely on their natural environment for food. That is, they depend on the diversity of marine life for their diet.