What animal eats sharks?

Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 08:46 am
I cofess -- this is part of Mo's homework but the question has us stumped. We have read dozens of books about sharks, and even those written on an adult level do not address the question of what eats sharks.

Our internet research has led to stories of an octopus, a crocodial, and an orca but shark doesn't seem to be part of their regular diet.

Of course, humans eat shark but I don't know if the question "What animal eats your animal" wants us to answer about what animal eats your animal after it's dead.

Any help out there?


Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 08:53 am
Sperm whale.

Because sperm whales spend most of their time in deep waters, their diet consists of many larger organisms that also occupy deep waters of the ocean. Their principle prey are large squid weighing between 3.5 ounces and 22 pounds (0.1 kg and 10 kg), but they will also eat large demersal and mesopelagic sharks, skates, and fishes. The average dive lasts about 35 minutes and is usually down 1,312 feet (400 m), however dives may last over an hour and reach depths over 3280 feet (1000 m).

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Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 08:56 am
all kinds of sea life would eat them once they were dead, but that's probably not helpful is it
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Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 09:00 am
Sharks are a top level predator. They have few predators of their own to worry about though smaller sharks sometimes become prey to larger sharks.

When they die, smaller fish and birds will feast on their remains.

Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 09:23 am
A possible pathway here would be to look at the decline of sharkes in the worlds oceans. The shark has fallen victim to overfishing and , presumably for food purposes, So Id be leaning to find out whats causing the huge decline in sharks and theyd be the big culprit.
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Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 09:28 am
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 22, 2001

As the men of the Miss Rene hauled in their net, three-foot (one-meter) sharks began dropping to the deck with wet slaps.

Using knives, the crew cut through the strands to remove sharks that were still tangled in the net, many bloody from their struggles. At sunset, the boat headed back to Fort Pierce, Florida, with 4,500 Atlantic sharpnose sharks in its freezer.

The Miss Rene and other boats have caught enormous numbers of sharks in the past few years, drawn by a growing demand for their meat and fins. But as evidence mounts that their catches may be decimating the ocean's top predators, a bitter legal fight has broken out among fishermen, federal regulators, and environmentalists over the level of fishing that sharks can sustain.

Despite a record-breaking number of attacks on people last year, sharks have become the object of an international conservation movement. Jaws author Peter Benchley has agreed to serve as spokesman for a campaign to end the trade in their fins. And leaders of environmental groups, whose preference in poster animals used to run more toward dolphins and bald eagles, have organized
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Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 09:29 am

Ancient Shark-eater?
In this undated artist image released by the Museum Victoria, an artist's impression of Janjucetus hunderi as it may have looked in life, in the seas off southeast Australia 25 million years ago.

Fits the description .... hope it helps
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 09:43 am
The question was in the present tense, not the Oligocene.

Otherwise the question would have been

"What animul Eated Sharks"
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 09:52 am
dang .... ya got me Confused
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old europe
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 10:07 am
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 10:13 am
Thanks all!

Frankly, after rereading my initial post I was wondering what language, never mind tense, I was writing in. I'm blaming it on lack of coffee.

I'm sure Mo picked sharks as his animal because he already knows a lot about them and thought it would be easy; he didn't take into account that they have a 400 million year history, that there are more than 300 species, and that we know very little about most of them.

I would have never though sperm whales eat sharks but I didn't consider octopi, crocodiles and orcas either. I suppose I'm guilty of thinking all whales are these gentle giants and all sharks are ferocious, when, in truth, some whales are ferocious and some sharks are gentle. The ocean is an amazing place!

I have noticed that almost all of the newer shark books have sections on conservation. Still, I don't think I've ever seen a "Save the Sharks" bumper sticker. It's horrifying to think we could wipe out such an ancient and amazing animal.

Thanks again for all of your help!
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 10:16 am
@old europe,
Good grief! Just showed the two little fellas that VT (11 years old) - they are shuddering! You would never have thought...... Shocked
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Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 10:18 am
I love the "crocodial" :-) I picture a telephone set developed for the teens, much like the hamburger phone Juno had in the movie (the movie Juno, that is). I need coffee too.
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Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 10:23 am

Catfish .....maybe?
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Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 10:27 am
Killer whales sometimes develop a taste for shark livers and will kill white sharks for it, even large whites.
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lady gaga
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 10:40 am
well it depends sharks can eat sharks but i dont know what type. but sharks are vicous creatures and they usally win. hope that anwsers ur question
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 11:26 am
@lady gaga,
The whale shark and the basking shark certainly aren't vicious creatures.

Only about 5, out of 350, species are known to attack man and even then they don't do it very often.
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 11:32 am
I'm going to have to go with 'scavengers.' They probably eat more sharks than any other creature by a country mile.

If you're looking on info as to what kills sharks, however - check out the dolphin. They regularly kill sharks.

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High Seas
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 03:15 pm
Chinese fishing vessels catch and maim those poor sharks, cutting their fins for some godawful soup considered a delicacy. The crippled sharks are then thrown overboard, unable to swim without fins, and presumably get eaten on their way to the bottom, since they can't defend themselves. Unspeakable cruelty.
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2009 03:17 pm
@High Seas,
Then there are lower animals.. any feed on shark skin in a symbiotic or parasitic way?

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