False killer whales are carnivores, eating primarily fish and squid. They mainly eat squid (Loligo) but also opportunistically take fish and occasional marine mammals, such as seals (Phocidae) or sea lions (Otariidae). Some of the fish they eat include salmon (Oncorhynchus), squid (Loligo, Berryteuthis magister, or Gonatopsis borealis), sciaenid and carangid fishes, bonito (Sarda lineolata), mahi mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), yellowtail (Pseudosciana manchurica), and perch (Lates calcarifer). On one occasion researchers found the remains of a humpback whale Megaptera noveangliae in the stomach of a false killer whale.
This species moves quickly in order to catch fish. They have been observed catching a fish in their mouth while completely breaching the waters' surface. They have also been seen shaking their prey until the head and entrails are shaken off. They then peel the fish using their teeth and discard all the skin before eating the remains. Some mothers will hold a fish in the mouth and allow their calf to feed on the fish. This food manipulation is rare in cetaceans.
Animal Foods: mammals; fish; mollusks; other marine invertebrates
Primary Diet: carnivore (Piscivore , Molluscivore )