RESEARCH ARTICLE


How to Kill Another Shark: A First Inside Look at a Potential Hunting Strategy of the Galapagos Shark



Erich K. Ritter1, 2, *, Alberto Munoz3
1 Department of Mathematics & Statistics, University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Bldg. 4, Pensacola, Florida 32514, USA
2 Shark Research Institute, Global Shark Attack File, P.O. Box 40 Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
3 Shark School Associate, 5970 Osprey Place, Pensacola, FL 32504, USA


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© 2018 Ritter and Munoz.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, University of West Florida 11000 University Parkway, Bldg. 4 Pensacola, Florida 32514, USA; E-mail: eritter@uwf.edu


Abstract

Background:

Close-up videos of sharks foraging on other live sharks are rare, especially when it comes to footage of the entire duration of an event.

Objective:

Our goal was to present an in-depth analysis involving a Galapagos shark, Carcharhinus galapagensis, foraging on a whitetip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus.

Method:

A frame by frame video examination was used to highlight the different aspects of this bout.

Results:

Several behavioral characteristics, including the somewhat cryptic approach, the extensive shaking once the Galapagos shark had the whitetip reef shark between its jaws, and devouring tail-first, stand out in this event.

Conclusion:

The entire act appeared very smooth, indicating that this bout, or at least parts thereof, may represent a common hunting strategy for Galapagos sharks.

Keywords: Behavior, Galapagos shark, Hunting strategy, Selachivorous, Whitetip reef shark, Videos.