Dr. Mario Lebrato and a team of scientists witnessed an oceanic black tip shark being eaten alive in an act of shark-on-shark cannibalism just off the coast of Spain.
The shark in question was being released back into the sea after having been captured to be studied by the scientific team. Minutes upon being released into the water, Lebrato explains having observed a group of hungry sharksbite off massive chunks of the newly-freed black tip. The marine scientist said:
Sharks eat sharks, that is well known, but it is super difficult to film and document.
But the really shocking part of it all is that the attacked animal—which can be seen missing half of its torso—continued swimming as if nothing had happened to it. While massive amounts of blood can be seen escaping its body, according to experts, the black tip was itself looking for food to feed on despite missing half of its body.
Cannibalism within sharks
After about twenty minutes of swimming around in search of food, the mangled shark eventually died from its injuries. Scientists believe that more cannibalism is happening between these predators, largely due to human activity interfering with their natural habitat.
To keep people safe from shark attacks, nets and baited hook lines are deployed onto sharks, which distresses the animal and makes it likelier for it to become a victim of cannibalism. Dr. Mark Meekan of the Australian Institute of Marine Science explains:
It’s not just one rogue shark attacking other sharks or even one species of shark attacking other sharks. It’s lots of different sharks turning on each other,“Shark-on-shark predation is a fundamental trait. Three-hundred million years ago these were cannibal sharks.
Check out the gory video for yourself!