Surviving deep sea wildlife is tough. So, when the marine animals stumble upon whatever food they can find, what unfolds is a pure state of madness. A recent video shows the feeding frenzy of deep-sea sharks shredding apart a fallen swordfish off the US coast in July 2019. However, what researchers could not believe was that they would also capture footage of one of those sharks becoming the prey for another deep-sea creature.
The footage posted by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows what happens after the ambush by a hungry wreckfish. You can watch this double prey becoming a prey twist in the video when finally the shark is eaten by a wreckfish.
The incident took place at a depth of 450 metres near a rise in the sea floor 130 kilometres off the coast of South Carolina, US. The incident was captured by chance when NOAA’s remotely operated vehicle Deep Discoverer was scouting for the wreck of the oil tanker SS Bloody Marsh. The Deep Discoverer chanced upon the remains of a eight feet long swordfish being fed on by almost a dozen deep-sea sharks.
Science Alert quotes marine scientist Peter J. Auster from the University of Connecticut saying that the cause of the death of this huge animal is unclear, it could be caused due to age, disease, or some other injury. He also pointed out how there was no visible hook or trail of fishing line suggesting that it was a lost catch. However, even if it had any injury, that massive damage done to it by the shark bites would have already masked it.
The sharks, seen in the video were two different species of slow-moving, deep-sea dogfish, commonly called sleeper sharks. Two of the larger sharks that appeared in the video were likely to be rough skin dogfish, scientifically known as Centroscymnus owstonii.
Meanwhile, others belonged to a relatively newly discovered animal called Genie's dogfish (Squalus clarkae). They have been named in honour of Mote Marine Laboratory founder, Eugenie 'Shark Lady' Clark in 2018. Both of the sleeper shark species are a common sight at these kinds of depths where they can be seen sluggishly cruising about until some food happens to appear. Or as we saw in the video, food happens to rain down from heaven somewhere in the area.
However, whatever attracted these deep-sea scavengers, it wasn't long before a solitary deep water Atlantic wreckfish (Polyprion americanus) also felt hungry and came into the scene for an easy meal.