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Do Great Whites Eat Whale Sharks?
By Ian Seldrup, February 16, 2016 @ 03:00 AM (EST)
Source: New Scientist


It goes without saying that great white sharks have healthy appetites. But is there anything they wouldn’t eat? Surely they wouldn’t take on a whale shark? Well, new findings suggest that white sharks may indeed have the planet’s biggest fish for dinner.

The evidence comes in the form of two whale shark vertebrae that were found in the stomach of a 4.5-metre-long white shark, which was caught half a century ago. And it was a big whale shark—the bones indicate it was about 8.5 meters long.

The scientist who identified the bones, Michael Newbrey at Columbus State University in Georgia, says that sharks have been known to eat juveniles, and that sub-adult whale sharks have reportedly been preyed upon by great whites, but there was no evidence that adults were also attacked—until now.

The question is whether the white shark specimen attacked a whale shark or scavenged on a carcass—and the latter seems like the most likely scenario since the great white was caught near a whaling station off the Western Australia coast. Great whites are known to scavenge large whales, so a whale shark seems like fair game.

Interestingly, scientists still know little about the diet of great whites, so the new findings do at least suggest one possible source of food.

Read more here.

 

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