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What Animals Eat Jellyfish? All About Jellyfish Predators

Jellyfish are king in their small world. They keep their unit close by and try to fight off predators with their stings. This defensive mechanism has made them average a lifespan of 2 to 3 years.

However, jellyfish still have predators that hunt and try to eat them. Some of these predators are in seawater, while others are in freshwater.

Do JellyfIsh Have Predators?

Jellyfish have predators. There are marine animals that are physically stronger than the slimy, stinging jelly. The main jellyfish predators include gray tigerfish, crabs, nudibranchs, sea anemones, ocean sunfish, sharks, sea turtles, seabirds, and humans.

What Animals Eat Jellyfish? – Jellyfish Predators

There are select animals that eat jellyfish, and most are natural predators. The main animals that eat jellyfish include:

  • Gray Tigerfish
  • Crabs
  • Nudibranchs
  • Sea Anemones
  • Ocean Sunfish
  • Sharks
  • Sea Turtles
  • Seabirds
  • Whales

Can People Eat Jellyfish?

We are one of the major jellyfish predators, hunting them in droves. They are eaten as fish or as ingredients for select foods.

Jellyfish are in high consumption in Asia. Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Burma, Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines. Jellyfish meals are enjoyed in many Asian restaurants.

Also read: What Do Jellyfish Eat? Discover Their Favorite Diet

Jellyfish predators - Turtle
Turtles are major predators of jellyfish. That’s why they are particularly vulnerable to plastic waste in the ocean: they mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and choke on them.

How Many Calories Do Jellyfish Have?

Jellyfish is a low-calorie creature because of its natural makeup. It is 95% water and 5% flesh, making it the perfect weight-loss meat.

One hundred grams of jellyfish has only 36 calories, which is smaller than a boiled egg. Jellyfish’s low calories are one reason why it is not consumed by most predators immune to its sting. It is only occasionally eaten by most animals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Squids Eat Jellyfish?

Squids do not eat jellyfish. They attack and eat the predators of jellyfish, and that is the only relationship they share with jellyfish.

Do Pelicans Eat Jellyfish?

Pelicans do not eat jellyfish. The reason is that jellyfish are quite dangerous to this water bird. Jellyfish stings are dangerous to pelicans who do not have the required immunity.

Also, many pelicans could die from jellyfish tentacles getting hooked in their throat and choking them.

Do Sea Turtles Eat Jellyfish?

Sea turtles eat jellyfish as a primary food source. The leatherback sea turtle eats jellyfish more than most marine animals because they are invertebrates, a major preference.

Do Crabs Eat Jellyfish?

Crabs eat jellyfish, and they do so quite regularly. Crabs are omnivorous marine animals that find jellyfish as top prey. The hermit crab and arrow crab eat jellyfish quite often. Spider carbs also eat jellyfish quite regularly, with a high preference for cannonball jellyfish.

Do Octopus Eat Jellyfish?

Very few octopuses eat jellyfish. While most octopuses will not try to eat jellyfish, the deep sea jellyfish, Haliphron atlanticus, which is about 4 meters long, kills and eats jellyfish. The octopus swiftly attacks the jellyfish and avoids its sting in the entire process.

Do Sharks Eat Jellyfish?

Sharks are occasional jellyfish eaters, consuming the slimy tentacle stinger when preferred food is unavailable. Sharks will only eat them when jellyfish stroll across their line of sight. Pelagic sharks, basking sharks, and whale sharks occasionally eat jellyfish by swallowing them whole without chewing.

Do Whales Eat Jellyfish?

Whales eat jellyfish alongside their preferred bigger and more satisfying marine prey. They will eat jellyfish if they come across them. Major whales that eat jellyfish are humpback whales, blue whales, and baleen whales. They swallow jellyfish and smaller fishes like plankton and crustaceans by gulping large volumes of water.

Do Seals Eat Jellyfish?

Seals do not eat jellyfish. They do not bother to hunt or catch jellyfish because they have small mouths that will not accommodate a jellyfish when it spreads its tentacles. Seals prefer to go for easier prey they can catch and kill.

Do Penguins Eat Jellyfish?

Penguins have been documented to eat jellyfish, which is actually a surprising phenomenon. While jellyfish are much less desired food for the calorie-demanding dolphins, they have shown high interest in eating them. Penguins eat jellyfish occasionally if they spot them.

Do Dolphins Eat Jellyfish?

Dolphins are big eaters that eat most marine animals, including jellyfish. Dolphins leisurely swallow jellyfish as a treat. They eat jellyfish alongside other marine animals like shrimps, salmon, octopuses, mackerels, and squids. Dolphins do not consider jellyfish their primary food and will only swallow them when they come across them accidentally.

Do Nudibranchs Eat Jellyfish?

Nudibranchs actively eat jellyfish and end up imprinting jellyfish’s tentacles defense style to their cerata. Nudibranchs use imprinted defense tactics to protect themselves from predators. Jellyfish stings are ineffective against nudibranchs, so the latter find killing and eating jellyfish easy.

Do Gray Triggerfish Eat Jellyfish?

Gray triggerfish eat jellyfish because they are invertebrates, making it easy for them to consume them. Gray triggerfish have small mouths that would have made it uncomfortable for them to swallow a whole jellyfish. However, their strong jaws and teeth help to break their prey into small chunks before swallowing.

Do Sea Anemones Eat Jellyfish?

Sea anemones are marine animals that look like flowers with tentacles and radial symmetry. Living close to sea rocks, they ambush unsuspecting jellyfish passing by and kill them for food.

Do Ocean Sunfish Eat Jellyfish?

Ocean Sunfish eat jellyfish as their primary food and are one of the few natural predators. Ocean Sunfish eat a lot of jellyfish to get filled, as 95% of jellyfish is actually water. They have low calories, which is insufficient for ocean sunfish. Other marine animals that eat jellyfish are crabs, nudibranchs, sea anemones, ocean sunfish, sharks, and sea turtles.

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