The photo comes from Daniela Ceccarelli, of Australia’s Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. Ceccarelli was working with fellow researcher David Williamson on conducting a “fish census” off Great Keppel Island, part of the country’s Great Barrier Reef. That’s when Ceccarelli thought she spotted a brown-banded bamboo shark hanging out near the ocean’s floor.
“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.”
As the New Scientist explains, Wobbegongs, aka carpet sharks, are silent predators, waiting at the bottom of the ocean floor for their pray to pass by. And as stunning as this photo may be, it’s not uncommon for Wobbegongs to devour such large meals. Like several kinds of snakes, the Wobbegong has a dislocating jaw and rearward-pointing teeth that help it consume disproportionately large prey.
Although Wobbegongs bite humans with some regularity, these usually aren’t actual attacks where the shark is hunting for prey. Rather, these bites tend to be more of a defensive reflex after the shark itself has been assaulted, usually by someone unintentionally stepping on it.
Source & Image: Yahoo News