Warning: Graphic Content
Shocking footage has revealed the brutal aftermath of two cannibal shark attacks in which great whites predated on members of their own species.
The two sharks can be seen lunging at each other and baring their teeth as they thrash around in the water in the ‘incredibly rare’ footage.
The footage is part of Nat Geo Wild’s new show Cannibal Sharks, which investigates rising reports of the apex predator preying on its own kind as part of the network’s annual Sharkfest extravaganza.
Take a look at the shocking footage below:
Although the footage is incredibly rare, Professor Mark Meekan from the Australian Institute for Marine Science reveals in the programme that all sharks are actually cannibals.
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.
More and more mutilated carcasses are being pulled out of the ocean around Australia’s Gold Coast, with some being so severely bitten only their heads remain.
Professor Meekan believes this is happening as a result of the measures being taken to keep the sharks away from swimmers.
As part of the Gold Coast’s safety measures, nets and bated hook lines are being deployed. Once a shark gets hooked by these, it sends out distress signals which are then picked up by other sharks who fancy a quick snack.
Examining a photograph of a shark with two huge bites taken out of its centre, Professor Meekan said such damage would have to be caused by something with ‘an immense amount of power’.
This is an enormous shark. It’s 12-feet long but look at the size of that bite, it’s absolutely massive. That’s an immense amount of power you need to take a bite out of another shark like that – you have to be pretty big yourself.
If I was a betting man, I might even pick another great white shark for that one. These things are apex predators for good reason.
Incredibly, this cannibalistic nature of sharks isn’t a new development; new research shows sharks have actually been eating each other for millions of years.
An examination of fossilised poo taken from the prehistoric orthacanthus – a shark that swam the oceans 300 million years ago – found it contained fossilised baby shark teeth.
Professor Meekan said:
That shows that 300 million years ago these were cannibal sharks. Shark on shark predation is a fundamental trait.
Cannibal Sharks airs on Nat Geo Wild on Monday July 15 at 8pm.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).