What Do Whales Eat

What Do Whales Eat

Whales happen to be some of the biggest animals in the oceans. Some whales have teeth while others don’t. The diet of one species of whale can be quite different than another. A lot of whales like to eat giant squid, fish, krill or plankton.

Whether or not a whale has teeth is a major factor that determines what he will eat. For example, baleen whales have baleen plates between their upper jaws, so they’re able to extract massive amounts of fish and krill from ocean water.

They consume huge amounts of water and filter the food out of the water. Rorqual whales have grooves on their throats, so they can hold a massive amount of water. Killer and sperm whales also have teeth, so they can consume many of the same foods as other teethed whales.

It’s quite common for sperm whales to dive extremely deep to catch their prey because giant squid tend to live deep in the ocean. Killer whales are known to eat dolphins, sea turtles, birds, squids and fish.

Killer Whales

These marine animals are classified as top-level predators in the great oceans. Out of all of the warm-blooded predators alive today, these whales are the largest. They can enjoy a very diverse diet, but it’s really dependent on the species.

Some killer whales eat marine mammals while others won’t eat anything except for fish. Globally, these whales snack on over 140 different species of animals, such as rays, sharks and bony fish. They’ve also been known to eat over 50 species of marine mammals.

Blue Whales

Did you know that these are the largest living mammals in the world? Despite the fact that they’re enormous, these sea creatures almost exclusively feed on krill, which is a tiny oceanic creature.

Some krill species can grow to a length of six inches, but most are between one to two centimeters.

The blue whale loves to eat krill and copepods, and it consumes these creatures by sucking in massive amounts of water and filtering out the food.

An average blue whale can weigh a staggering 150 tons and must consume around 8,000 pounds of krill per day, which is somewhere around 40 million individuals.

Humpback Whales

These creatures of the sea are absolutely gigantic. They’re part of the baleen whale suborder and have been known to eat a variety of different types of fish. Humpback whales have been known to eat salmon, capelin, mackerel, haddock, Pollock, herring krill and squid.

With such a massive diet, humpback whales have one of the most diverse diets of any member of the baleen whale family. Although baby humpback whales start out drinking milk, they quickly transition to the huge, diverse diet that their parents enjoy.

Beluga Whales

Since these animals are opportunistic feeders, they’ve been known to eat over 100 different types of bottom-dwelling creatures. A typical beluga whale will eat sandworms, crabs, snails, squid and octopus.

In terms of fish, it will eat flounder, smelt, herring, cod and capelin. In a zoo setting, these whales will eat around 40 to 60 pounds of food per day. The beluga whale tends to forage near the bottom of shallow waters.

It has a flexible neck, which provides a wide range of motion for feeding. These animals are known to hunt schooling fish, and they don’t swallow their food whole.

Sperm Whales

The sperm whale can dive as deep as 4,000 feet and can stay under water for over an hour. About 80 percent of this whale’s diet consists of giant squid, and the other 20 percent consists of crab, shrimp, fish and octopus.

Orca Whales

These animals are apex predators, so they’re at the top of the food chain. There are no other animals, aside from humans, that hunt orcas. A typical orca whale might feed on various types of fish, rays, sharks, sea turtles, octopuses, squids and sea birds.