A shark was swallowed whole during a rarely seen deep-sea feast

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Perhaps the old saying is true: You are what you eat.

And in this case, a shark primed itself to be a decadent meal for a wreckfish that was casually passing by.

Researchers who were exploring the ocean depths to look for a World War II shipwreck shared a video of a rare shark sighting last month.

The NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research team recorded a school of deep-sea dogfish feasting on a dead swordfish about 1,476 feet below the surface off the coast of South Carolina. The video shows at least 11 of the sharks devouring a recently dead 8-foot swordfish.

Then comes an even bigger surprise.

A bony fish known as a wreckfish comes from behind the researchers’ remotely operated vehicle and snatches a shark into its mouth, leaving only the tail flailing between its lips.

Yes, that’s a lot of unpack. Let’s break down what these researchers are calling a “once in a lifetime event.”

It’s rare to see sharks like this in a group

The NOAA team said it’s uncommon for deep-sea sharks to be in a group unless there is some nearby patch of food.

Peter Auster, a senior research scientist at the Mystic Aquarium and research emeritus professor at the University of Connecticut, said these sharks probably traveled a long way to feed on this swordfish. Scientists call this a “food fall.”

“When a large food fall occurs, like a 250-plus pound swordfish, the ability to detect and locate the food, and then maximize food intake, is the key to growth and survival,” Auster wrote for one of NOAA’s mission logs.

That wreckfish reminded us of the fight for survival

Dinner was served, but there was little to no room for the wreckfish to get in on some of the swordfish feasting action.

So the large fish did what it could in the situation and ambushed one of the small dogfish sharks instead.

“Using the [remotely operated vehicle] for cover, it demonstrated the ability of large predatory fishes to feed on smaller sharks,” Auster wrote.

The video is giving researchers a lot to consider about the inner workings of the deep sea.

“This rare and startling event leaves us with more questions than answers, but such is the nature of scientific exploration,” Auster wrote.

Trademark and Copyright 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News