Researchers from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have been witness to a rather unprecedented event - a shark eating another shark!
Apparently the scientists were conducting an underwater survey at the Great Keppel Island off the coast Australia, when they saw a Tasselled Wobbegong Shark eating a Brown Banded Bamboo Shark! Fortunately, they were alert enough to take a photograph of the unusual event.
They observed the incident for 30 minutes. During that period, neither did the bamboo shark move or try to escape nor did the wobbegong shark attempt to further ingest its prey.
The photograph was taken on Aug. 1 and was published in the Coral Reef journal. Incidentally, while the fact that sharks eat other sharks is not in itself a new discovery, this is the first time that the process has actually been photographed.
In the pictures below, we can clearly see the wobbegong shark has caught hold of the bamboo shark's head and has completely swallowed its head and gills.
According to the researchers, to see the wobbegong shark eating so large an animal is a surprise since it generally preys upon invertebrates and small demersal fishes.
The tasselled wobbegong belongs to family of carpet sharks that are usually found in the Western Pacific ocean, this shark is around 48 inches in length.
The brown banded bamboo shark belongs to a family of bamboo sharks that have a brownish band which is most prominent as an infant and gradually dulls with age. The brown banded bamboo shark can grow to approximately the same size as a tasselled wobbegong shark and are usually found in the Indo-West Pacific regions.