Actually it's sharks NOT biting each other. Sorry to disappoint, but once again, these amazing animals prove that they are NOT mindless monsters.
Over the years I’ve witnessed many baited situations with multiple species of shark. While there is only sent in the water the sharks are interested, but are in “standby mode “so to speak... just slowly cruising and exploring, trying to figure out the source of the smell. But when an actual piece of fish enters the equation the behaviour changes so my: the shirts speed up and are constantly changing directions watching for a feeding opportunity. When those opportunities come (fish is offered up by the bait handler) several mouths filled with razor sharp teeth suddenly descend upon the same target with lightning speed. One year it finally dawned on me that I wasn’t seeing any casualties, all the sharks were swimming away apparently unscathed. How could that be? I thought to myself. I understand that they don’t want to eat each other, nor do they want to engage in a battle that would leave them wounded, but surely mistakes are made while in such a high speed competition! On a recent diving trip conditions did not allow us to dive so we took advantage of the lemon sharks at the surface by sticking our go pros in the water to capture what it looked like from the viewpoint of the shark’s mouth. The sharks managed to avoid biting our go pros for the most part, but did mouth a couple of them in their pursuit of the fish that we dangled at the surface of the water. But my footage also revealed the links the sharks want to not to bite each other. At the last millisecond sharks could be seen turning away when they realised a competitor had beaten them to the prize. But even more impressive was seeing their reactions when a shark did end up in their mouths. Instead of biting down the shark actually opened its mouth wider to let the shark get out. My friend Andy Brandy Cassagrande contributed some footage of his own showing an even more dramatic example of this control. Two sharks pursued the bait head on. One actually swallowed the bait right before the other shark ended up in its mouth - but even in the act of swallowing it’s catch the shark left it’s mouth agape to allow the less unfortunate shark the opportunity to escape! Love sharks or hate them, you’ve got to be impressed by this level of control and willingness not to injure each other in a dangerous situation
#skylerthomas #sharks #lemonsharks #gopro
Debra Canabal of Epic Diving in the WSV hoodie. Get yours!
About the Author
Skyler Thomas is the primary blog contributor, cinematographer, and lead editor at White Shark Video.