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Discover: What Eats Sharks? – 13 Surprising Animals That Eat Sharks

13 Surprising animals that eats sharks
13 Surprising animals that eats sharks

Welcome to ‘What Eats Sharks? – 13 Surprising Animals That Eat Sharks’

Great White Shark
Great White Shark breaching with mouth open. Image via Deposit Photos

More often than not, sharks are depicted as the ultimate predator of the ocean. Their presence evokes power and dominance across the marine world. Therefore, you might be surprised to learn that several animals challenge the shark’s predatory supremacy. In this article, we explore 13 animals that are known to eat sharks.

Saltwater Crocodiles – Stealthy Shark Hunters

Crocodile
Crocodile with its mouth open. Image by dMz via Pixabay

Saltwater crocodiles don’t shy away from sharks. Crocodiles are one of the most formidable predators on Earth and are no match for some species of sharks. Saltwater crocodiles inhabit estuaries and coastal waters and occasionally prey on bull sharks.

Goliath Grouper – Shark vs Goliath

By Geraldecarroll - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25933211
Goliath grouper under a reef outcrop. By Geraldecarroll – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25933211

Did you know that a Goliath Grouper occasionally eat sharks? This massive fish lurks in warm waters across the globe. Its sheer size, wide mouth and strategic ambushing techniques are enough to overpower small to medium-sized sharks.

Osprey – Predator of The Sky

Osprey with a fish in its claws.
Osprey with a fish in its claws. By rob Stoeltje from loenen, netherlands – DSC03883, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83196742

The Osprey, a predator of the sky, has been seen preying on small sharks. Ospreys have remarkable eyesight and precise diving skills. This aerial hunter’s adaptability makes unsuspecting juvenile sharks vulnerable to these predators of the sky.

Cape Clawless Otter – Cute And Cuddly Shark Eater

Timothy Whitehead, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Cape Clawless Otter in the grass. Timothy Whitehead, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Cape Clawless Otter is highly adaptable and feeds on various marine species. Its dexterous paws and sleek body make them excellent navigators in the kelp forests, catching sharks with surprising agility. These otters have been sighted preying on catsharks and shysharks.

Giant Squid – A Titan of the Deep

Mgiganteus1 at en.wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Caracss of giant squid washed ashore. Mgiganteus1 at en.wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Giant Squid is not often seen underwater but evidence on the surface suggests that these titans of the deep have attempted to prey on sharks. Their powerful tentacles and razor-shark beaks make this squid a formidable opponent against some sharks.

Octopus – An Eight-Armed Shark Eater

octopus punching fish
Octopus on a sandy reef. Image by Thomaseder via Depositphotos

Octopuses are arguably one of the most intelligent marine animals. This coupled with mesmerising camouflage abilities makes for another formidable predator against sharks. Its eight flexible arms, with suction cups, allow it to grasp and overpower small sharks, like the dogfish. This scene was captured on video at the Seattle Aquarium.

Dolphins – Cooperative Shark Predators

Speckles the rare piebald dolphin.
Speckles the rare piebald dolphin. Image by UniSC: University of the Sunshine Coast via YouTube

Dolphins are known for their intelligence and complex social behaviour. They are known to engage in coordinated attacks on sharks, targeting vital organs and damaging gills. Working together they outmaneuver and exhaust sharks, making them vulnerable prey.

Orcas – An Apex Preadtor’s Nightmare

Orca swimming through the water.
Orca swimming through the water. By Martin Lindner – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26433605

Orcas reign supreme as the predator of the sea. Their sophisticated hunting techniques have been observed immobilizing sharks by flipping them upside down, inducing something called tonic immobility. In recent years, evidence has proven that orcas prey on great white sharks.

Sperm Whale – Deep Diving Behemoths

sperm whale
A mother sperm whale and her calf off the coast of Mauritius. The calf has remoras attached to its body. By Gabriel Barathieu

Sperm whales are the largest toothed predators on Earth. They utilize a technique called echolocation to navigate deep, dark waters and also to search for food. It is in the dark waters of the abyss that they encounter megamouth sharks.

Humans

Hector Garcia, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Hector Garcia, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps the most dangerous shark eater of them all, are humans. With our advanced technology and techniques, humans have significantly impacted shark populations. As a result, almost 400 sharks species are in danger of extinction.

Seals – Surprising Shark Challengers

Rare sighting of a Cape Fur Seal preying on a Thrasher Shark near the coast of Cape Town. Image by Gunnar Oberhösel @theglobetrotterguy
Rare sighting of a Cape Fur Seal preying on a Thrasher Shark near the coast of Cape Town. Image by Gunnar Oberhösel @theglobetrotterguy

Seals, particularly the leopard elephant and recently the cape fur seal, have been observed feeding on sharks. Seals are extremely agile and can outmanoeuvre some shark species. The photo above is of a cape fur seal predating on a thresher shark in South Africa.

Tiger Sharks

Albert kok, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Albert kok, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tiger sharks are notorious for preying on other sharks, including their own species. Their powerful jaws and impressive sense of smell allow them to prey on sandbar sharks, rays and dolphins.

Bull Sharks

Albert Kok, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Albert Kok, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bull sharks have a unique tolerance to different environments. They can venture into freshwater rivers and lakes, where they occasionally prey on smaller shark species. Their aggressive nature places them alongside tiger sharks as another top shark predator.

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