Q:

Where is the whale shark in the food chain?

A:

Whale sharks live in the open ocean where they feed on plankton, schooling fishes, jellyfish, small crustaceans and squid. Whale sharks up to approximately 3 feet in length are eaten by blue marlin, blue sharks, great white sharks and killer whales.

Fully grown whale sharks average 32 feet in length and are well-defended by tough, thick skin with a layer of cartilage underneath. Adults often have scars and bite marks from earlier predator attacks.

Whale sharks use different strategies for feeding according to prey density. When prey density is low, they feed by swimming forward with their mouths open, filtering the water through dermal denticles lining the gill plates and pharynx. They use the same method when prey density is high but swim faster, often in a circular pattern. At medium-prey densities, whale sharks feed actively by sucking in prey.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is the food chain for the tiger shark?

    A:

    Tiger sharks probably have a wider diversity of prey than any other shark species. Their primary prey species include fish, sea turtles, mollusks, sea birds and other sharks, but virtually anything swimming in the ocean is fair game. Adult tiger sharks have few predators other than humans, but young tiger sharks must avoid large predatory fish and sharks.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a food chain for a tiger shark?

    A:

    Tiger sharks exist at the top of the food chain, and they prey on a wide variety of species, including fish, sea turtles and other sharks. Additionally, tiger sharks prey on sea-dwelling birds, catching them as they land on the water’s surface. Mollusks such as sea snails, conchs and whelks also serve as prey for the opportunistic sharks. Tiger sharks are also scavengers that have been known to eat garbage.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do whale sharks live?

    A:

    Whale sharks live in all seas that are tropical or warm-temperate. Generally whale sharks range no further south than South America and no further north than the United States. They prefer warmer waters near the equator.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How big is whale shark?

    A:

    The average length of a whale shark is 18 to 32 feet long. They weigh around 20.6 tons. This incredible size makes whale sharks the largest fish in the sea.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore