What Do Oarfish Eat?

Oarfish are carnivorous. Despite having a gigantic body shape and structure, Oarfish live on eating plankton and small marine creatures. A majority portion of an oarfish’s diet consists of Krill, squid, and shrimp. On top of these, tiny fishes are also on the regular diet of Oarfish!

As you already know, Oarfish are massive in structure. Judging by their body length and weight, it’s quite normal to assume that they feast or overeat. But the eating pattern and eating habits of Oarfish it’s quite surprising!

In this guide, we’ll be covering what does Oarfish eat, their diets, and their prey. So if you’re one of those enthusiasts about Oarfish and love to know about their eating habits, you’ve arrived at the perfect place.

Keep reading to the end, as we guarantee you’ll surely be left in awe after knowing about their eating habits and diet.

What Does Oarfish Eat?

Oarfish are carnivorous. That means they prey on other marine creatures to meet their hunger and for survival.

Krill, Squid, Shrimp, and small fish are the favourite foods of Oarfish. Besides, Oarfish also eat tiny planktons. They strain these living marine creatures from the water while intaking them as food.

The food habit or diet of Giant Oarfish is the same as that of regular ones. In spite of their massive length (even more than regular Oarfish), giant Oarfish live by eating plankton, shrimps, Krill, and other marine creatures.

As you already know, most of the Oarfish caught so far were already dead. However, one was caught around the coast of California. To your surprise, it already had consumed a large number of Krills (around 10,000) in its stomach. So, you can make an idea about their eating volume.

What Do Baby Oarfish Eat?

Oarfish are mysterious marine creatures. This is because they seldom come to the shore or in sight of people. Most of the time, they live in deep seas or oceans at deeper heights. And that’s why only a few of them have been hardly seen; among them, the majority was found dead.

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Are you thinking about how living in the deep ocean is related to the eating habits of baby Oarfish? Well, don’t be impatient!

As Oarfish seldom come in human contact. It’s quite impossible to identify their exact food habits or diets. The ones that came or were found at the shore were adult Oarfish; from

Also Read: Oarfish: 20 Incredible but Real Oarfish Facts

Guessing from there, baby Oarfish also eat plankton, Krill, and other small creatures. Baby Oarfish are even more mysterious; their lifespan or period to become an adult is still unknown.

So, for this reason, baby Oarfish exact food habits are still unknown. However, their food habits are believed to be similar to those of adult ones. And they don’t have real teeth, well. The baby Oarfish also use their gill raker to filter and intake food.

Do Oarfish Eat Other Fishes?

Oarfish don’t eat other marine fishes as food. Although they’ve big bodies, they still depend on small planktons, tiny marine creatures, shrimps, krills, and squids.

Big fishes or regular sea fishes are not the prey of Oarfish. As Oarfish live in solidarity without family members, they’re believed to be living alongside other fishes.

So from this, it can be easily said that Oarfish don’t eat other fishes. Or else, they couldn’t have been living alongside them.

 Do Oarfish Eat Their Babies?

There is no exact information about this fact on the net. However, as you already know, Oarfish are carnivorous and live on eating small fishes, plankton, and shrimps; it’s believed that they don’t eat their babies or themselves.

But there’s a catch. There are some marine creatures like sharks or seahorses that have the tendency to eat their offspring after birth. The babies born weak or with lesser chances of survival are often eaten by their parents.

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But That doesn’t truly mean that Oarfish do the same. As Oarfish have quite a few similar traits to marine creatures and their food habits are the same, they might eat their babies that have a lesser chance of survival. Still, it’s not a proven fact! 

Does Oarfish Eat Humans?

Oarfish are carnivorous, and they don’t eat humans or cause any harm to them. This is also the case for giant Oarfish too! Although it’s quite common to assume giant Oarfish as dangerous, in reality, they’re not!

I agree that Oarfish look dangerous due to their mammoth body size and shape. But it’s found that they are quite friendly towards humans and have no tendency to cause any harm, eat or kill humans for food.

There are 3 main reasons I identified why Oarfish could not eat humans or cause any harm to them. Here are the reasons-

  • Oarfish seldom come to the surface of their water. So there’s almost no chance of getting harmed by Oarfish.
  • As you already know, Oarfish have no real or visible teeth. They take their food through suction by a duct called a gill raker. So that’s why Oarfish cannot bite you and have lesser chances of being attacked by them.
  • Besides, Oarfish swim vertically by keeping their head in the downward position. This helps them to scan for krills and food easily.

You can understand why they cannot harm you as they swim by keeping their head in the downward direction.

Even the Oarfish that was caught live on the shores had no intention of causing harm to humans. Even though they’re called sea monsters or sea serpents, they’re friendly and not dangerous at all!

How Do Oarfish Eat?

Oarfish have a unique eating pattern that differentiates them from other fishes or marine creatures.

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Oarfish intake food like plankton or small fishes through a small opening in their digestive system.

Oarfish have gill rakerslocated in their mouths. The gill raker is a flimsier structure that helps them capture prey and suck the plankton, shrimp, or small fish into their stomach by straining them from the water.

Knowing their unique eating or prey-capturing pattern, you might ask yourself, don’t Oarfish have teeth?

No, Oarfish have no real, visible teeth. Instead, they use their special gill raker duct to capture and eat their food.

What Do Oarfish Eat in Aquariums?

There are hardly any Oarfish in aquariums all around the globe. The reason being most Oarfish found on the shore were mostly dead. However, one giant Oarfish was reportedly kept in an aquarium in Japan.

However, it passed away after being in captivity for a few hours.

Oarfish don’t survive in aquariums or captivity. They must be kept in deep water bodies, and the water pressure needs to be regulated properly. And on top of that, they need salt water.

As the one kept in the aquarium did survive for a few hours, it was impossible to know about its food habit or diet in aquariums.

However, it’s assumed that their food habitat in aquariums would also be plankton, krills, shrimps, and other tiny marine creatures.


So that’s it on knowing about what Oarfish eat. The food habit or diet of Oarfish is truly surprising. Despite their mammoth body structure, they live on only small plankton and marine creatures.

But one thing is clear: although they look dangerous or are called sea monsters, they aren’t dangerous at all.

So we hope you now know what you want. So we believe you’ll be able to enlighten others too! Besides, if you find any other interesting facts about their food habits or diet, do let us know.

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