what do goblin sharks eat

What Do Goblin Sharks Eat?

Written by: Gemmali Dizor

Goblin sharks are a fascinating deep-sea shark species that have captivated scientists and marine enthusiasts for centuries. With their elongated snout and eerie appearance, they are often referred to as the “ghost sharks” of the ocean. Despite their widespread distribution throughout the world, little is known about the behavior and ecology of these elusive creatures. 

They are known to hunt their prey using their unique ability to detect electrical signals, allowing them to locate and consume fish, squid, and crustaceans in the dark and murky depths of the ocean. Whether you’re a marine biologist or just a lover of all things aquatic, goblin sharks are genuinely fascinating and worth exploring.

What Do Goblin Sharks Eat?

Goblin sharks are known to have a diverse diet, feeding on prey, including fish, squid, and crustaceans. They can detect electrical signals their game produces, allowing them to hunt in complete darkness. They use their long snout to locate their prey and then extend their jaws to capture it. Their prey items include bony fish, such as lanternfish, and squid, like the jumbo flying squid. In addition to these, they are also thought to consume crustaceans like shrimp. However, their feeding behavior needs to be better understood due to their elusive nature and the difficulty in observing them in their deep-sea habitat.

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How Goblin Sharks Hunt Their Prey

Goblin sharks are known for their unique hunting method, which involves detecting electrical signals their prey produces. They have specialized cells called electroreceptors in their long snout that allow them to sense these signals. When a potential prey item is detected, the goblin shark extends its jaw forward, capturing the prey in its mouth. This hunting method, known as electro-olfactogram, is a highly effective way for the goblin shark to locate and capture its food in the darkness of the deep sea. The combination of its specialized snout and jaw structure allows the goblin shark to quickly and efficiently capture its prey. It is a remarkable adaptation that sets the goblin shark apart from other shark species.

Deep-Sea Habitat and Feeding Behavior

Goblin sharks inhabit the ocean’s deep waters, typically at depths between 330 to 990 feet. They are slow-moving and solitary creatures, making them difficult to observe and study. Despite this, researchers have gathered some information about their feeding behavior. Goblin sharks consume large prey items, such as fish and squid. Their long snout and jaw structure make them easily capture these items. The deep sea is sterile, but the goblin shark has adapted to survive in these conditions. It is a fascinating species that continues to captivate marine biologists and ocean enthusiasts with its unique adaptations and mysterious behavior.

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Goblin Shark Population and Conservation Status

Goblin shark populations are considered low, with limited sightings and knowledge about their biology and behavior. Due to the difficulty in observing these creatures, the exact size of their populations is still being determined. However, they are not considered at high risk of extinction due to their wide distribution throughout the oceans. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the goblin shark as a “data deficient” species, meaning there is not enough information to assess their conservation status accurately. However, there is growing concern about the potential impacts of deep-sea fishing and other human activities on these fascinating creatures. More research is needed to understand the goblin shark better and ensure its survival for future generations.


In conclusion, goblin sharks are a unique and fascinating species of shark that continue to captivate scientists and ocean enthusiasts alike. With their elongated snout and ability to detect electrical signals, they have adapted to survive in the inhospitable deep waters of the ocean. Their diet is diverse, including fish, squid, and crustaceans, and their hunting method is a remarkable adaptation that sets them apart from other shark species. Despite their wide distribution and low risk of extinction, more research is needed to understand the goblin shark better and ensure its survival. Whether you’re a marine biologist or just a lover of all things aquatic, goblin sharks are a species that is well worth exploring and learning more about.

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