ELASMOBRANCH HUNTING STRATEGIES
by Scott W. Michael
Although certain marine habitats often appear to teem with prey items,
many of these organisms are equipped with defenses that make them unavailable as food to all
predators. In response to prey adaptations, predators employ behavioral and/or anatomical features
that enable them to thwart the different defense mechanisms of their prey.
| Sharks and rays come in a variety of different
shapes and sizes. They also employ a diversity of feeding behaviors to capture their food. A
lovely Gulf catshark (Asymbolus vincenti), a nocturnal predator, is shown here. Photo by Scott W. Michael.
Sharks have long been looked at as mindless eating machines. But as a result of underwater observation and telemetry
tagging techniques, we have learned much more about the amazing feeding behaviors employed by sharks and rays.
These animals exhibit a diversity of techniques to locate, capture and ingest their prey. These behaviors are the
subject of this Coral Realm Guide.
Click on one of the links below to find out about each of the specific hunting strategies
employed by sharks and rays.