Sep 30, 2006

One Big Buffet

The maw below is that of a cookie cutter shark. These nasties cruise up to a large fish or a marine mammal, latch on with their suction-enabled mouths, dig in with their teeth, and then spin. At the end of their spin they have taken out a cookie-shaped bite out of their prey. They then swim on, leaving the wounded animal wondering what just happened to it.

One theory proposes that the cookie cutter shark poses as a smaller fish (thanks to its light-colored underbelly), waits for a large fish to attack, and then turns the tables on its would-be attacker by attacking it instead. Gutsy little fish, isn't it?

These sharks have even been known to take bites out of the sonar equipment of submarines. Now that is ambitious. I don't know what I think about this creature. Most predators kill their prey and gobble them down. This one just takes bites and moves on. The ocean is one big buffet to it. Not a bad life to live, on the whole.

Thanks for the link, Rasmus!

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