Many people ask what sharks eat and the answer to that varies. It depends on the type of shark as various species have different habits.

Shark feeding also depends on where they live because this will change the other types of creatures that will be around them to choose from.

Shark diet needs to evolve based on what is offered so they can survive. As we have said, sharks easily adapt to their habitat, therefore the number and variety of food selection will determine what will a shark eat in such location. Sharks may prefer certain types of foods but when they are scarce they will adjust their eating habits to compensate for it.

Meat Eaters, not Man Eaters

Most sharks are meat eaters and so they feed on other fish and even other sharks. Larger sharks aren’t afraid to go after a huge meal such as a dolphin or a sea lion. They have a very keen sense of smell, can feel vibrations, and can see well in the water even at night so they never have trouble finding their prey.

Sharks have very powerful jaws and teeth so they can rip through meat and bones without any trouble at all. Since many sharks are thrashing from side to side as they eat it may give the impression that they are having difficulties but that isn’t the case at all.

Non Meat Eaters

Other shark species live off of small aquatic life including mollusks and clams. These types of sharks often live at the bottom of the ocean where there is an abundance of such food sources. They blend in well so they aren’t spotted by their prey very easily. These are often the smaller species of sharks that don’t need a huge volume of food to live on.

Sharks also eat crab, squid, and lobster in areas where it is available. Due to the amount of commercial fishing ships though gathering such items for humans to consume though it isn’t always a source of food that they have available.

shark feeding“Sharks generally will consume about 2% of their total body weight.”

Other Items found in the Ocean

As I mentioned sharks aren’t very picky when their food sources are scarce. That doesn’t mean they are content to eat people though.

In fact, research has shown that most sharks will bite and then let a person go as they realize it isn’t their normal food source. Of course that will make great damage in the person bitten, but the truth is that sharks do not eat humans.

Some sharks have been known to eat items including coal, oil, trash, and clothing that finds its way into the water. Generally it won’t harm them but consuming large amounts of such items can be tough on their digestive system.

How Much do Sharks Eat?

The amount of food that a shark eats each day depends on the type of shark it is.
Some Shark species will eat huge meals and then not eat again for weeks. They are able to survive on the oil that is stored in the liver when they do eat. When that gets low they will have the instinct to eat again.

The reason sharks don’t have to eat as much as people think is because they are cold blooded. This means their circulation is slowed down and they burn energy at a slower rate.

As you can see, sharks eat a variety of foods. While most of them are meat eaters that isn’t the only thing many of the species go after. For millions of years the various species of sharks have been able to evolve. One reason for this is that they have eaten what is readily available as necessary in order to stay strong and to be able to successfully reproduce.