At the end of January 2015, there was a convention at Burgers’ Zoo of nutritional experts from European zoos. One of the lectures during the convention had the title above and was presented by biologist Max Janse, the Head of the Ocean. In the presentation, an overview was given on how feeding sharks and rays takes place within the world of zoos. This is something that occupies a lot of our time at the Ocean, because it is directly linked to the health of the animals.
What kind of answer would a shark give?
Sharks are carnivores, a nice word for meat-eaters, in this case fish-eaters. But what do they actually eat in the wild and what should they be fed in an aquarium? It is not such a simple question. There have been many scientific studies into the behaviour of sharks in the wild as well as examinations of the content of their stomachs. The result has been that every species of shark has its own diet, which even changes as the shark grows. Some species of shark are specialists and have specialised teeth for opening shellfish and molluscs, while others are opportunists: they eat whatever swims in front of their faces. How does this information help us? On the one hand, you can consider the kind of food you are providing, on the other, it is all a matter of trial and error.