A predator is defined as an animal that hunts and kills other animals in sight. Most predators are found on land such as lions, crocodiles and tigers. But they do exist within the marine ecosystem too.
They’re called marine predators. These predators come in different shapes and sizes with their own unique ability to catch prey. Let’s take a closer look at 10 types of marine predator that live in the Pacific Ocean.
1. Blue Whale
The blue whale is one of the various types of marine predator that live in the Pacific Ocean and it’s also the biggest animal on the planet. For this particular marine species, it loves to eat krill.
It can live up to around 100 years. However, the blue whale is a protected marine animal. Some of the threats that its facing includes habitat degradation and whaling. You can find out more about the conservation of blue whales, perhaps you could help to keep them away from going extinct.
2. Lemon Shark
This marine predator often stays near coastal areas. It prefers shallow waters, rocky and sandy surfaces. It’s often found in coral reefs, mangroves, river mouths and enclosed bays due to their nature.
The lemon shark feeds on other marine animals at night. With its incredible sense of smell, it’s able to find prey quickly. Furthermore, it also has electro-receptor, enabling it to pick up its victims’ electric pulse through movement.
3. Killer Whale
The killer whale is amongst the many types of marine predator that lives in the Pacific Ocean. Often hailed as the ‘wolves of the sea’ due to their nature to hunt in packs. The diet of a killer whale consists mostly of fish, sea birds, sea turtles and mammals.
Here’s a fun fact about this particular predator of the Pacific Ocean, out of all the marine mammals out there, it has the 2nd heaviest brain. The sperm whale has the largest of them all.
4. Sperm Whale
You’ve probably heard of the sperm whale before. It’s a massive predator in the Pacific Ocean. Its diet consists of squid, octopus and fish, all weighing around 907 kg daily.
How does it catch its prey? It uses echolocation, similar to dolphins. By sending loud clicks, the sperm whale is able to receive echo to determine the location, size and distance of its prey. Unfortunately, the sperm whale’s ability to find prey is affected by pollution. Find out more about ocean pollution effects on whales and learn all about its negative impacts.
5. Great White Shark
Did you know that the great white shark can live up to 70 years? Indeed that’s a great feat for a great white shark. As a marine predator, the great white shark’s only predator is the killer whale.
An interesting thing about the great white shark is that it holds the record as the most frequent marine species that bite humans. It doesn’t eat humans though. The great white shark itself feeds on other marine animals, including mammals.
6. Red Lionfish
To be more specific, the red lionfish is an invasive predator in the Pacific Ocean. It’s considered as one of the most dangerous threats to ocean ecosystems.
The red lionfish is actually an aquarium species, spread to the waters through the aquarium trade. The appearance of the red lionfish is a striking one, with red and white vertical stripes.
What’s so dangerous about this marine species is its venom that’s able to cause swelling and paralysis to the victims. The red lionfish likes to eat shrimps, crabs, small fish and smaller lionfish.
Another one of the unique types of marine predator that live in the Pacific Ocean is vaquita. The vaquita is a porpoise that’s also the most endangered marine animal in the world. It feeds on squid, crustaceans, octopus and croakers.
The Vaquita uses echolocation to locate its prey. You won’t find them on the surface of the water as they prefer to spend their life underwater. Due to their critically endangered status, let’s learn about the conservation of dolphins.
8. Pacific Bluefin Tuna
The Pacific bluefin tuna is a fast one. Its body is specially made to help it swim efficiently. This particular marine species has the ability to retract its dorsal and pectoral fins, boosting its speed.
The Pacific bluefin tuna’s colour is like the ocean, metallic blue and silver. It actually helps it to camouflage itself from predators. Its diet is mostly made up of shrimp, crabs, anchovies and squid. Unlike other fish, the Pacific bluefin tuna is able to keep its body warm.
9. Leatherback Sea Turtle
The leatherback sea turtle is the next types of marine predator that live in the Pacific Ocean. It’s a carnivore predator, meaning that it usually feeds on jellyfish, salp, snails, sea urchins and fish.
The leatherback sea turtle is a predator who prefers to be alone, it’s a solitary marine animal. It thrives in cold waters and migrates over long distances to reach sandy beaches to lay eggs. This predator is the largest turtle in the world with size reaching up to 1.6 metres.
The last predator is the marine bird, albatross. It’s a very sharp predator with the ability to spot its prey from the sky. Once it has spotted its victim, the albatross would swoop down and snatch the fish from the surface of the water. Sometimes it would also dive a little bit into the water.
Another way the albatross find its food is through smell. It has the ability to easily smell its prey and breeding grounds during the day and night. Explore more function of seabirds and see how they play a vital role in the marine ecosystem.
Of course, there are even more types of marine predator that live in the Pacific Ocean. Out of these ones, which one piqued your interest? Learning more about the marine predators in the Pacific Ocean will give you a wealth of knowledge about the marine ecosystem.