Yes, a whole shark, in one bite.
I know, right? We usually think of sharks as the apex predator, the big fish, the terror of the oceans, don’t we?
Well, it’s worth remembering that wreckfish – a type of fish similar to a grouper – are pretty massive as well. This one certainly was. A lot bigger than the poor shark, that’s for damn sure.
The video was shot by researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (a US agency) who were out to discover and film shipwrecks on the seabed. Instead, they captured this piece of rare and remarkable footage.
There were 11 sharks, two types of dogfish if we’re being precise, feasting on the huge carcass of a dead swordfish.
Suddenly, the wreckfish arrives on the scene, evidently up for some lunch. It engulfed the shark totally in its gaping gob and – we can only assume – chowed down.
The NOAA shared the video along with the story of what they’d seen in a blog post that read: “The swordfish was clearly recently deceased, perhaps only by a few hours, given the condition of its body and the rapid disappearance of its flesh into the stomachs of the sharks.
“The cause of the death of this majestic animal is unclear, perhaps owing to age, disease, or some other injury.
“There was no visible hook or trail of fishing line suggesting this was a lost catch.
“However, any type of injury would have been masked by the massive damage caused by hundreds of shark bites.”
Yep, they’ll do that.
The post continued: “It [the wreckfish] demonstrated the ability of large predatory fishes to feed on smaller sharks.
“The wreckfish appears unable to feed on the swordfish directly itself, but by joining the sharks, it was able to feed on an animal that was.”
That’s using your noodle. In the animal kingdom, you’ve got to do what you can to get a meal.
The blog added: “Normally we don’t see any deep-sea sharks in a group or aggregation, unless there is some nearby patch of food.
“As relatively small apex predators, they spend a great deal of time searching for prey. When a large food fall occurs, like a 250-plus pound swordfish, the ability to detect and locate the food, and then maximise food intake, is the key to growth and survival.”
It seems as if the real trick to survival is getting a feed without having your head bitten off by a bigger fish.
Featured Image Credit: NOAA