What do Whale Sharks Eat?

October 22, 2017
1 min read

The diet of the juvenile individuals of the whale sharks is unknown. However, it is assumed that they feed on small teleost fishes and zooplankton. It is estimated that a young individual can feed up to 46 pounds of food each day. The large individuals prey on schooling teleosts (of all sizes) and crab larvae. They also prey on squids, anchovies, krill, copepods, jellyfish, mackerels, fish eggs, sardines, small tunas and other small nektonic organisms. Also they may feed on macroalgae and phytoplankton.

It is known as a filter-feeder because it uses a special technique called filter-feeding method. In this method, the shark separates suspended food particles from water as the water flows over its spongy filter plates. Megamouth and Basking sharks are the only other two species (of sharks) that use this technique. Amusingly, its teeth are not busy during feeding but remain at rest. This is because it uses either of the following two techniques in feeding i.e. ram filtration or active suction feeding.

In the former technique, a shark goes forward but stays at constant speed and keep its mouth open while sucking food-bearing water into its mouth. This method is also known as passive feeding.

While in the latter case, the shark opens its mouth as well as shuts it down by gulping down huge volumes of water, which is then released by means of its gills. As more and more food particles build up on filter pads, they block these pads. For that, whale sharks are often seen to do ‘coughing’ in order to cast off these particles.

Latest from Blog

Cane Rat (Thryonomyidae)

Cane rats are robust rodents with stocky bodies, small ears, and short tails; body covered with sharply pointed, but pliable, spiny hairs; broad, heavily built orange-colored chisel-shaped incisors, with the upper ones grooved longitudinally at the front. They will make habitats in grasslands and wooded savanna. What Do Cane Rats…

What Do Antbirds Eat?

Antbirds (Formicariidae) are small to medium-sized songbirds with short, rounded wings, a short or long tail, and a stout or slender bill slightly hooked at the tip, feed on insects on the ground or in trees or thickets; prey is usually gleaned from foliage, although some species also catch flying…

Where Do Mountain Beavers Live?

Mountain beavers do not hibernate and so are active throughout winter. They are primarily nocturnal but are frequently active for short periods during the day. Mountain Beaver Habitat Habitats used by mountain beavers vary, but are typically forests with dense patches of herbs and shrubs. This vegetation supplies not only…

What Do Pangolins Eat?

Pangolins love munching on bugs, especially ants and termites. They sniff out their insect feasts, and sometimes the big pangolins go for the larger bugs. What’s on the menu can change depending on what’s available or the time of year. What Do Pangolins Eat? Pangolins can be a bit choosy,…

Proper Nutrition for Pets

Pet care is a complicated topic, as it is challenging to come to a single opinion. However, most owners will agree that the choice of food has a substantial impact on the condition of cats and dogs. Since much depends on the correct determination of needs, it is worth paying…
Go toTop