Could a shark live on pastrami only?

See query.

For once I’m not going to give the back story on an OP. But there is one.

Why not? It’s meat.

First, the respect for GQ rules is exemplary (i.e., even my fingers were itching to note that they must have CelRay as well.

A friend and I were in the dog park talking about shark defense with magnetic fields, which led to general shark physiology mixed with the perennial dog physiology question (on GQ and elsewhere) “what about vegetables?” (“You could dress like a carrot…”)

So that’s 1).

And then I wondered about spices and irritants, and the idea of plant and animals toxins to some predators, and then…pepper, salt, and (I got interested here, from my rough knowledge of salting, the salt processing of aquatic animals–and the particular ammonia business of the shark–and sodium nitrate, in massive doses, and the 50% lethal dosage for sharks.

That’s 2).

Each–although wise men may differ–a not-insanely stupid question about sharks.

And, for shorthand, pastrami.

No rye? No brown mustard? That’s just cruel.

He can, but he gets this urge to stop eating on Yom Kippur.
(Sorry, as we’ve seen, the jokes just write themselves.)
I wonder what fat does to a shark, to be serious.

To the best of my knowledge, the LD50 of pastrami for sharks has yet to be determined.

Perhaps the OP should apply for a grant.

About Voyager’s concern with what fat does to a shark: they like fat. Seals, which can be 50% fat, form a major part of the shark’s diet

The only significant way that pastrami differs from fresh meat is in the salt content, but sharks, being ocean creatures, are used to high concentrations of salt.

because carnivorous animals need more than just “meat.” you’re forgetting that many/most of them consume their entire prey, including the internal organs (which concentrate a lot of vitamins/micronutrients) and the contents of their prey’s digestive system.

it’s like cats, people hear they’re obligate carnivores and think that means they can “only eat meat.” which is wrong, they do consume plant matter. they just let their prey partially digest it for them.

Right. Pastrami will be edible for sharks, but it probably won’t provide the complete suite of nutrients that whole prey would. I don’t know what if any vitamin requirements sharks have, but some components of meat are going to be degraded by the process of brining.

Ok, now this might lead to a huge drift–>hijack (I don’t want to abandon my sharks), but sharks are fish; I’ve heard about piranhas, I guess, but for the mild-mannered innumerable inoffensive guppies and their cousins, they need protein, no? Are those fish “herbivores” or what?

Also, as cx to OP: pastrami as served fresh can/will be cured with sodium nitrite, not sodium nitrate, as the curing times are quite short.

This is full text available on feeding ecology of the lemon shark, with suggestions for other types (species?) of shark.

Research on specifics on their nutrient requirements is cited, but I haven’t the time to chase them down, or their online follow ups. Gotta get that grant.

There are plenty of fish that eat algae or other plant material. Heck, there’s even a close relative of the piranha (the pacu) that likes to eat fruit and nuts dropped by trees, though they are not strictly herbivores.

Most fish feed at least partly on animal matter (insects, small crustaceans, etc.). However, there are plenty of herbivorous fish, but of course plants contain protein and minerals as well, just in lower concentrations than in animals.

  1. But some fish, like shark, the protein requirement shifts way the other way? – Like for us, the (unnatural-evolutionary-speaking) vegetarians among us, who have to eat extra-protein-rich vegetable matter like pulses, etc.?

Yes, Leo. Fish are animals. And they’re made of protein. I’m not sure what you’re asking.

And now that you’ve edited your post to exclude point 2), I’m really lost.

Herbivores and carnivores have similar requirements for protein. Herbivores just have to eat more (or especially protein-rich) plant material to get it (or else they have to grow slower).

Sharks eat fish whole and get minerals from their skeletons. Sharks are cartilaginous, not boney, but I have to assume they require at least some calcium and magnesium. Probably long term it would be bad for the shark’s skeleton and nervous system.

Although a shark’s skeleton is mostly cartilaginous, it is often partly calcified. They may need less mineral content in their diets than bony fish, but they do need some.

:eek: or :mad: or :o or :stuck_out_tongue:

Either way, no fair!