Fish, marine mammals, and carrion are three staples in the diet of Somniosus microcephalus. Fish include herring (Clupeinae), salmon (Salmonidae), smelt (Osmeridae), cod (Gadidae), pollock (Theragra), haddock (Melanogrammus), halibut (Hippoglossus), redfish (Hoplostethus), sculpins (Cottoidei), lumpfish (Cyclopterus), and skates (Rajiformes). Seals (Phocidae) and small whales (Delphinidae) are also common food items. Drowned horses and reindeer have also been found in the stomachs of captured specimens. Somniosus microcephalus has been observed feeding in great numbers on carrion produced by commercial whaling and fishing operations. (Compagno and Fowler, 2005; Compagno, 1984)
- Compagno, L. 1984. FAO Species Catalogue Volume 4:Sharks of the World. Rome: United Nations Development Programme.
- Compagno, L., S. Fowler. 2005. Sharks of the World. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.