The Wobbegong, a carpet shark in Australia, has a pretty big appetite and a mouth enough to feed it. National Geographic recently released a photo of the Wobbegong eating a bamboo shark whole.
Daniela Ceccarelli, of Australia’s Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, snapped the photo off Great Keppel Island near the Great Barrier Reef. Ceccarelli told National Geographic:
“The first thing that caught my eye was the almost translucent white of the bamboo shark… It became clear that the head of the bamboo shark was hidden in (the Wobbegong’s) mouth. The bamboo shark was motionless and definitely dead.”
Yahoo reports that Wobbegongs, also known as carpet sharks, sit on the bottom of the ocean and wait for fish to pass by. It isn’t uncommon for the carpet shark to devour such a large meal but it is pretty rare to capture the act on film. PracticalFishKeeping reports that scientists have known about the Wobbegong’s shark eating habits due to analyses of their stomach contents, but this could be the first photograph that actually shows the carpet shark eating another shark.
The New Scientists reports that the Wobbegong has a dislocating jaw, similar to a snake, that allows it to eat large prey. The Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies said that it would probably take the Wobbegong a few hours to digest its meal.