Half a shark has washed up on New Smyrna Beach in Florida, posing the question of what other animal was large enough to take such a large bite out of the animal.

The whole of the shark's tail was eaten, suggesting that a much larger animal, such as a great white shark, attacked the fish nearby the Florida coast. Two great white sharks – one of them 14 foot long and known as Katherine – have been spotted near New Smyrna Beach in recent months.

The dead shark is thought to be either a blacktip or a spinner shark, according to beach safety spokeswoman Tammy Morris, according to WKMG Orlando. The fish would have been about 5 feet long including its missing tail, she estimated. According to Morris, the shark had definitely been partially eaten, as the wounds did not look like they had been damaged by a fishing boat.

A Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue lifeguard discovered the half-eaten fish at the beach on Saturday, posting a picture of the find on social media with the caption: "Anyone up for a swim? LOL I guess there is something even bigger out there. #blacktip #whereiskatherine."

Katherine weighs 2,300 pounds (1,040 kilograms) and has been tracked by Ocearch since 2013 when she was tagged by a brave marine biologist.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials tweeted earlier this month that a great white shark besides Katherine had been spotted about 20 nautical miles off the coast of Ormond Beach, about 20 miles down the coast from New Smyrna Beach.

"There's always a bigger fish." #blacktip #shark #notcatchandrelease #becauseitsdead #jawsjokehere

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