Shark swallows shark: Shark eating whole shark caught by camera (Photo)

By on Feb 16, 2012 in Animals, Australia, Science Comments

A big shark was recently caught by camera swallowing a smaller shark in the seafloor of Great Barrier Reef in Australia, as shown in the photo below.

As noted at News Scientist last week, researchers of Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies witnessed the incident while diving on the Great Barrier Reef and doing a “fish census”.

According to the report, the bigger shark was identified as wobbegong shark (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon), which is known to be usually lying on the sea floor and waiting for a passing fish for its meal.

Based on the definition of Wikipedia, ‘wobbegong’ is believed to come from an Australian aboriginal language, meaning “shaggy beard”, referring to the growths around the mouth of the shark of the western Pacific.

The full report, which can be found at the Coral Reefs, Journal of the International Society for Reef Studies, said that the photo was taken in midday of August 1, 2011, and the trip was funded by the National Environment Research Program (NERP).

Meanwhile, the smaller shark was known to be a bamboo shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum), which was seen being swallowed whole and head first, with the event noted to be common scene but this is the first time a camera caught the action.

“The first thing that caught my eye was the almost translucent white of the bamboo shark,” Researcher Daniela Ceccarelli was quoted in an email to National Geographic last Wednesday, who was with another researcher named David Williamson when she saw the event.

“It became clear that the head of the bamboo shark was hidden in its mouth,” Ceccarelli added, noting that she had to swim closer hoping to find the head of the smaller shark hidden under a coral ledge but it was nowhere to be found.

Shark swallowing another shark
Image Credit: Tom Mannering/Daniela Ceccarelli

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