Do Sharks Eat Whales?

Do Sharks Eat Whales? Both of these creatures have a position of power in the sea.

Whales are huge and very few creatures will try to attack them. Killer whales are the largest known predators of warm blooded animals. They usually hunt in pods and work together to trap their prey. They eat fish, squid and marine animals.

Killer whale

What Do Sharks Eat?

Sharks eat all kinds of living things. They typically consume fish that they can kill. Most of the time this means that sharks eat fish that are smaller than they are, since these are easier to hunt. In captivity, sharks are usually fed fish, squid and other seafood.

Great white shark

Sharks have been known to eat other sharks and may bite humans, but this is not their preference. Much of the time when sharks eat other sharks, it happens because they go into a feeding frenzy when blood is released from an injured animal. Sharks that mistake humans for other animals, such as seals, may take a bite.

Wondrous Secrets of the Ocean Realm: The Great Whales and Sharks

Do Sharks eat Whales?

Sharks will eat whales if they get the chance. Conversely, some whales will also eat sharks. Orcas are known for attacking and eating sharks. Killer whales are huge and they can and will swallow sharks whole. Killer whales are dangerous animals and sharks know this. They will often swim away if they see one of these whales approaching. 

Cover of Whales (All Aboard Science Reader)

Sharks will try to attack whales. The thing is that they are not usually successful. If they do succeed because the whale is injured or tired, the sharks will eat it.

Marks of great white shark bites on a beached whale

Killer whales spyhop, ie. they look for food on the ice. If they find it, they will hit ice from below in order to knock their prey into the water. Some of them know how to slide up on sand bars and ice floes in order to get to their prey. Killer whales will even attack blue whales. They attack from underneath and behind and will even jump on top of blue whales to try to push them into the water and drown them.

Type C killer whale raisng its body out of the water in spyhopping

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31 Responses to “Do Sharks Eat Whales?”
  1. Eunike Says...

    On May 21, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    It will be very interesting if it made a movie, but bis scary if it really happen


  2. girishpuri Says...

    On May 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    nice share


  3. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    @Eunike
    A scientific crew actually watched once as a group of sharks attacked and bit chunks out of a whale.


  4. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Thanks Girish.


  5. megaladon6 Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Killer Whales are a member of the dolphin family


  6. Rarity HIll Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Interesting. The article is informative. Thanks.


  7. Safa Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Interesting article.


  8. lauralu Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Very good I like the pictures and great info.


  9. catlord Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I saw that video of a group of sharks attacking a whale, taking gaping bites of it until satiated and then left, leaving the wounded whale, -still alive but mortally wounded.

    Cookie cutter sharks are about 2-feet long and they grab ahold of whale blubber and gnaw in a circle until a ’scoop’ of flesh is cut free. Submariners first encountered this phenomenon when their submarines returned to port and had scoops gouged out of the rubber nose cones. Submarines have a thick rubber nosecone that acts like a bumper on a car, -and to these sharks probably looks/feels like whale flesh…
    It was a mystery what was causing these scoop-outs, until the feeding method of these mini-sharks was learned.


  10. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    @Megaladon
    Dolphins and whales belong to the same family (Cetaceans). The difference is in their size.
    Killers whales can be described as both dolphins and whales, since all dolphins are whales. However not all whales can be classified as dolphins.


  11. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    You’re welcome Rarity Hill.


  12. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks Safa.


  13. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you Lauralu.


  14. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    @Thestickman
    Must have been a puzzle to them.


  15. papaleng Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Perhaps if the need requires say for food or survival. Sharks will attack whales and vice versa.


  16. Tiki33 Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Well done! This is a very imformative article that educates in the process.


  17. 8Shei8 Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    this is a cycle of life. I am just glad I am neither a shark or whale. good info again Sharifa :)


  18. 8Shei8 Says...

    On May 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    this is a cycle of life. I am just glad I am neither a shark or whale. good info again Sharifa


  19. megaladon6 Says...

    On May 23, 2012 at 12:17 am

    @Sharifa Cetacea is the orca’s order which also covers porpoises, but we don’t called them whales. The Killer Whale’s family is Delphinidae which is closer to the oceanic dolphin. The main difference between whales and dolphins is that dolphins have actual teeth, giving them the ability to hunt sharks. Other than that good article.


  20. KittyK Says...

    On May 23, 2012 at 1:24 am

    A reminder that we must respect these creatures immensely!


  21. Eiddwen Says...

    On May 23, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Amazing ;I truly enjoyed this one.
    Take care and enjoy your day.
    Eddy.


  22. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    @Megaladon
    All Delphinidae can be described as toothed whales.
    You are right that orcas belong to that family. However since they are members of that family, they can be described as whales. They are toothed whales.

    Sperm whales are also toothed whales. There are several other types of whales that belong to that set.


  23. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks Eiddwen,
    Same to you.


  24. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    @Kitty
    You’re right. I think sometimes we think of them as pets, when they are not.


  25. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    @8Shei8
    lol
    ;-)


  26. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks Tiki


  27. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    @Papaleng
    You’re right


  28. Starpisces Says...

    On May 25, 2012 at 11:55 am

    interesting..and tell you something, don’t laugh at me… sometimes I mix up shark and whale as I find them look quite alike…. :P


  29. SharifaMcFarlane Says...

    On May 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    They look alike ;-)

    Whales move their tails up and down. Sharks move theirs from side to side while swimming.
    Sharks also have gills, like other fish. Whales are mammals, so they do not have gills.


  30. yes me Says...

    On June 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Interesting one my friend cheers


  31. jennifer eiffel01 Says...

    On June 19, 2012 at 10:26 am

    This is the reason I would not go in the water when we went to the Ocean. I am not meeting one of those


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