My son stumped me when he asked "Mom, what do sharks eat?" since I've never actually wondered this myself. (I'm more likely to hope they just don't eat me when I'm in the surf.) Sure, I figured it was fish, but young inquiring minds want to know details, so I did some research to find out what sharks consider their chow.
According to the experts at Sea World, sharks eat everything from plankton to fish to larger marine mammals, such as seals. With around 400 different shark species inhabiting the ocean, defining shark chow becomes complicated. The average shark dines on fish, squid and crustaceans, but some species of sharks have preferences.
For example, hammerhead sharks like stingrays, smooth dogfish sharks have an affinity for crabs and lobsters, tiger sharks eat sea turtles, and blue sharks prefer squid. This may surprise you: whale sharks (the largest of the shark species) feed on enormous amounts of plantkon, filtering water out through their gills.
One thing we can learn from the sharks is to eat less. Sharks are cold-blooded animals, which means they have slower metabolisms compared to warm-blooded animals. They don't need, nor do they eat, huge amounts of food. That means you won't find many, if any, sharks with weight problems.
Visit your local seafood purveyor this week and choose from the freshest picks for crab, lobster, squid, tuna, mackerel, and any other sustainable fish.
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