20 Animals That Eat Fish

Various animals, from sea lions to shoebill storks, consume fish as a primary or supplementary part of their diet. This list highlights 20 diverse predators, both expected and surprising, showcasing the wide range of species that enjoy a fishy meal.

In the world of animals, there are many different diets. Some animals are strict carnivores, some are herbivores, and others are omnivores. And then there are those animals that primarily eat fish.

1. Sea Lions

Sea lions, often termed “eared seals,” possess distinctive ear flaps setting them apart from other seals. These marine mammals thrive in coastal regions globally.

They have a voracious appetite for fish, particularly favoring salmon, herring, and sardines. Their diet reflects their adaptation to their aquatic habitats and plays a key role in marine ecosystems.

2. Seagulls

It’s a pretty known fact that seagulls love to eat fish. These birds can often be seen following boats and fishing piers in hopes of snagging a meal. Seagulls will also eat just about any type of small fish they can find.

3. Penguins

Penguins are cute birds that love to eat fish. These flightless birds primarily eat krill and small fish. Also, did you know that they tend to eat much more fish during the summer compared to the winter?

4. Orcas

Orcas, or killer whales, are one of the top predators in the ocean. And while they will eat just about anything they can find, from seals to sharks, fish make up a large part of their diet. Orcas have been known to eat over 500 pounds of prey in a single day!

5. Cats

Cats sure do love their fish. In the wild, cats will eat just about any type of fish. Domesticated cats, on the other hand, tend to be a bit pickier. But if you’ve ever seen a cat go crazy over a can of tuna, you know that they definitely enjoy a good fish dinner every now and then.

6. Grizzly Bears

These types of bears are considered one of the strongest animals on Earth. And while they will eat just about anything they can find, from plants to small mammals, fish is one of their favorite foods. In fact, they use different techniques to catch fish, such as fishing with their claws or using their sense of smell to find fish in the water.

7. Bald Eagles

Bald eagles are one of the most majestic birds of prey. They are known for their large size and strength, and they use these attributes to their advantage when catching fish.

Bald eagles will typically eat smaller fish, but they have been known to take down larger prey on occasion, like a seagull or even geese.

8. Dolphins

While they are often thought of as friendly and playful creatures, they are also fierce predators. Dolphins primarily eat fish, but they will also eat squid, crabs, and other marine creatures. If you’ve been to a dolphin show, you may have seen them eat fish that are tossed to them by trainers.

9. Sharks

Of course, sharks are going to be on this list. These predators are some of the most feared animals in the world. Sharks primarily eat fish, but they will also eat other marine creatures, such as seals, turtles, and even other smaller sharks.

10. Polar Bears

Polar bears are another type of bear that enjoys a good fish dinner. While they will eat just about anything they can find, from plants to small mammals, fish is their primary source of food. In fact, it is estimated that polar bears consume approximately 150 pounds of prey every day!

11. Squids

Squids are actually pretty proficient predators, able to take down fish that are much larger than they are. Their diet consists mostly of small fish, but they will also eat crustaceans, mollusks, and jellyfish. These creatures use their tentacles to grab onto their prey and pull it in, before using their beak-like mouths to tear it apart.

12. Turtles

Yup, even those cute little turtles that everyone loves so much are voracious predators of fish. In the wild, they will mostly eat small fish, but they also feed on other animals like mollusks, crustaceans, and insects.

13. Piranhas

These ferocious fish have razor-sharp teeth and a voracious appetite, and they will gladly take down anything that crosses their path – including other fish. One of the most feared predators in the waters of South America, piranhas will strip a fish clean in seconds.

14. River Dolphins

Despite their friendly appearance, river dolphins are actually apex predators that feast on fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. These creatures use their long beaks to snag their prey before swallowing it whole. They are also known to kill and eat birds, reptiles, and small mammals.

15. Flamingos

Flamingos are known for their distinctive pink feathers, but did you know that these birds are also avid predators of fish? They are usually seen wading in shallow waters, using their long necks and curved beaks to scoop up small fish. Their beaks can filter out the water, so they can swallow their prey whole.

16. Fishing Spiders

You read that right, there are spiders that actually hunt and eat small fish! These eight-legged predators are found near bodies of water, where they wait for their prey to swim by.

When a fish gets close enough, the spider will catch it with its strong front legs and start devouring it. Regular spiders are scary enough, but fishing spiders just take the cake!

17. Whales

Whales, among the world’s biggest animals, primarily eat fish. They particularly enjoy small schooling fish. Besides fish, they also eat tiny sea creatures like plankton. Their massive size requires a large food intake.

18. Herons

Specifically Great Blue Herons, these tall birds are typically found near bodies of water. They use their long necks and sharp beaks to spear fish from below the surface. Their size ranges from 3 feet to 4 feet, and their long beak helps them hold slippery food like worms and fish.

19. Ospreys

Ospreys are a type of raptor, which means they’re related to eagles and hawks. These birds of prey are often found near bodies of water, where they hunt for fish. They have sharp claws and a diet that consists almost entirely of fish.

20. Shoebill Stork

The shoebill stork is a large bird that can be found in Africa. These birds are known for their long necks and big, sharp beaks, which they use to spear fish from the water. They sure look prehistoric, but they’re actually quite skilled hunters!

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the many animals that eat fish. While some of them may seem unlikely, it’s actually a fact that fish are part of their diet. So the next time you go fishing, be sure to watch out for these predators!