A shark has been caught on camera making a meal of another shark along Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Released earlier this month, the pictures show a tasseled wobbegong halfway through swallowing a brownbanded bamboo shark.
Daniela Ceccarelli and David Williamson, from Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, chanced on the spectacle while conducting a fish census on the fringing reef off Great Keppel Island.
"The first thing that caught my eye was the almost translucent white of the bamboo shark," Ceccarelli said in an email. Expecting to find the front part of the bamboo shark hidden under a coral ledge, Ceccarelli swam closer—and the highly camouflaged wobbegong materialized.
"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." (Also see shark pictures by National Geographic fans.)
Previous analyses of the shark species' stomach contents had shown that wobbegongs do eat other sharks. (Related pictures: "Sharks Taught to Hunt Alien Lionfish.")
"I doubt that this is the first time such a thing has been seen," said Ceccarelli, who added that she does think this is the first published photograph of a wobbegong swallowing another shark.