It's a shark-eat-shark world, as an Australian fisherman discovered this week.
Trapman Bermagui, also known as Jason, hooked while fishing for small shark off the coast of New South Wales a bronze whaler shark, which was promptly eaten by a colossal mako.
Before the huge shark could be hauled in, however, it fell prey to an even bigger creature, which devoured all but the mako shark's head.
We did not see what the mako, "Jason told CNN, estimating that the intact shark would have" weighed at least "550 pounds. The head alone weighed about 220 pounds, he said.
When the crew cut the meat from the mako's head, they found another surprise: the detached bill of a marlin, embedded in the flesh, which Jason speculated was the result of " a battle years ago. "
Looking at the size of the shark – and the bite taken out of it – it's tempting to speculate that the mighty mako fell victim to some gargantuan ocean predator,
That might not have been the case, however. Jason speculates that the culprit was a tiger shark, telling CNN: "There's so many around at the moment."
Tiger sharks are among the largest sharks in the ocean, according to Australia's Great Barrier Reef Foundation, growing to 10-16 800-1,500 pounds.
Clive Trueman, associate professor in marine ecology at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, said the mako was probably unusually vulnerable because of what it caught on the hook.
"Once hooked, the struggles of a shark (or other fish) are likely to attract sharks and other predators, "he told CNN.
Tyler Bowling, program manager at the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, told
"Orcas wants to attack large sharks to eat their livers, but the bite marks looked like that, a shark so probably a white shark," he said.
As alarming as the photo may look, there's no cause for panic, according to Bowling. "This type of thing happens a couple of times a year," he said.