Shark scientist Antonella Preti has dissected the stomachs of more than 200 Mako sharks to learn about their diets and way of life.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where Preti works is now sharing the scientist’s work. The organization is specifically sharing the dissection of a giant Mako Shark which consumed a 200 pound sea lion.
Preti while inside the Mako shark also discovered bones, which have not yet been identified.
Sharks are an important part of the food chain, so learning what they eat is very important. Scientists check to make sure they are still eating a good amount of groupers, a midlevel fish that preys on entire populations of other fish. The Mako also consumes sick and old prey species which keeps their general populations healthier.
Scientists acknowledge that when sharks disappear from certain Oceanic areas it causes a mass negative effect on various fish species.
Currently more than 100 million sharks are killed each year, mostly by fisherman in China who sell off their catch’s fins and meat.
Speaking to LiveScience about the largest Mako shark she has ever caught and dissected, Preti says the fish had in its stomach “a bullet, 24 pork steaks wrapped in paper, and a soggy salad.”
The Mako shark was caught off the coach of Southern California by a local fisherman who donated its body to science. The Mako Shark weighed 1,323 pounds and was 12 feet long.
Are you surprised by the type of human debris that scientists found inside the Mako sharks stomach?