Found: Plant-Eating Shark

September 21, 2018
NOT JUST A MEAT EATER Scientists say the bonnethead is the first shark known to eat plants.

Researchers have discovered a type of shark that eats plants in addition to animals. It is the first shark known to be an omnivore.

Bonnethead sharks live in shallow coastal waters of the United States, Central America, and South America. Their habitat is filled with seagrass. Scientists have long known that the bonnethead eats the grass, as well as prey like squid and fish. They thought the shark ingested the grass accidentally.

But researchers at theUniversity of California, Irvine, discovered enzymes in the shark’s gut that break down plant matter. This indicates that the bonnethead eats grass on purpose, and gets nutrition from it.

Samantha Leigh headed up the study. She told the AP that this is “yet another indication of why we need to preserve this vegetation.”