In what is a soon-to-be classic picture taken by National Geographic, a shark is eating another poor shark whole.
Daniela Ceccarelli, of Australia’s Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies took the picture, while conducting a “fish census” off Great Keppel Island, part of the country’s Great Barrier Reef. She thought she saw a something interesting on the bottom of the ocean, and sadly for the unfortunate animal, it was.
“The first thing that caught my eye was the almost translucent white of the bamboo shark,” Ceccarelli told National Geographic in an email. Instead, as Ceccarelli moved in for a closer look she noticed a camouflaged wobbegong shark emerging from seclusion with the same bamboo shark partially wedged inside its jaws. “It became clear that the head of the bamboo shark was hidden in its mouth,” she said. “The bamboo shark was motionless and definitely dead.”
Wobbegongs, also known as carpet sharks are silent, deadly predators which wait on the bottom of the ocean for any prey unfortunate enough to stumble their way. As spectacular as it is, it is not really uncommon for wobbegongs to eat prey this big, as it has a dislocating jaw and rearward-pointing teeth that help it consume disproportionately big animals.