Hungry fur seal killed and ate five sharks
According to scientists, important changes are occurring in the ecosystem of the World Ocean. In particular, the seals began to attack sharks equal to them in size.
Researcher Chris Fallows argues that it is normal for seals to hunt small fish. Sometimes they attack small sharks. Meanwhile, at one time, Fallows witnessed how a Cape fur seal caught up and ate a blue shark (these animals reach a length of 3.8 m). Then, in 2012, a specialist noticed how a fur seal killed five sharks and ate their nutrient-rich internal organs. Scientists find it difficult to answer the question why seals attack such large prey. After all, in the end, it can be dangerous for them.
According to researcher Uga Benoit (Hugues Benoit), attacks of seals on sharks are not at all rare. However, due to the fact that they occur in the open sea, we can not always observe them. Also, since the seals eat only internal organs, scientists do not find shark cartilages in their stomachs, and the extent of the phenomenon is very difficult to assess.In general, the hunting of shark seals can play an important role in the marine ecosystem, because it inhibits the growth of the number of the latter, and this helps other fish to survive.
The length of the body of a male kapk fur seal can be 2.5 m. Females have a length of up to 1.8 m. These mammals are the largest fur seals. Animals were almost exterminated in the XIX century, but now their population has recovered markedly.
Fur seals seem to be fairly harmless creatures, but this is a false impression. The photographers managed to capture the lunch of a mammal consisting of five blue sharks.
A group of divers diving off the South African coast happened to witness an unusual incident demonstrating how the prey turned into a hunter.
Among the divers was the photographer Chris Falls, who managed to take some amazing shots.
“A group of men and I plunged into the ocean, and immediately there were several blue sharks, 1.1-1.4 meters long, near us. The fish were small and posed no danger, so we continued our underwater journey. Suddenly a fur seal appeared from the cape side, and the next moment something we didn’t expect: a pet attacked one of the sharks and bit into its gills.It was scary to look at it, ”Chris tells of his impressions.
However, the fur seal didn’t stop at killing a little predator - he gutted his victim in search of a stomach and liver, which he ate immediately. One shark was not enough for a mammal, and the animal attacked four more sharks, eating them in a similar way.
“We had enough impressions, so we decided to sail away from the hungry fur seal. In addition, the blood of the killed prey could attract larger sharks, ”says the prudent photographer.
It should be noted that the aggressive animal belongs to the family of eared seals feeding on mollusks, squid and small fish, but not the predatory inhabitants of the ocean.
“I got the impression that the fur seal was full and was choosing only the organs of a shark he needed. It is known that the liver of these fish is quite useful, and for the seal it serves as a good source of energy. The weight of mammals reaches 300 kg, which allows them not to be afraid of small predators. It's just a matter of size - if you're smaller than me, you will be eaten.Yes, we have not seen this before, but this does not mean that there are no sharks in the diet of fur seals, ”argues Fellovs, looking at the pictures.
Earlier, seals have already been accused of killing a huge number of stupid dolphins. According to scientists from the Netherlands, pinnipeds began to kill dolphins, including for the sake of entertainment.