What do whales eat?

Answer
Whales have diverse diets depending on their species and feeding mechanisms. Based on the provided search results, here are the main types of food that whales consume:

Baleen Whales

Baleen whales, such as blue whales, humpback whales, right whales, and fin whales, primarily feed on small marine organisms by filter feeding:
  • Krill (small shrimp-like crustaceans) 1235
  • Copepods (tiny crustaceans) 1
  • Small schooling fish like anchovies, herring, and capelin1345
These whales gulp large amounts of water containing their prey and then use their baleen plates to filter out the water, trapping the food inside their mouths.

Toothed Whales

Toothed whales, such as sperm whales, killer whales (orcas), and beaked whales, have teeth and hunt for larger prey:
  • Squid (including giant squid for sperm whales) 124
  • Fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel234
  • Seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals (primarily for killer whales) 23
  • Some toothed whales may even prey on other whale species2
Toothed whales use echolocation to locate their prey and then catch and consume it using their teeth. It's important to note that while some whales have specific preferred prey, their diets can vary based on factors like location, season, and availability of food sources35. Additionally, plastic pollution in the oceans poses a significant threat as whales can accidentally ingest plastic, which can be fatal2. 12345
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