When underwater photographer Jeremy Tucker spotted a dead humpback whale floating near Kimberley in Western Australia, he sent his drone skyward to survey the scene. Much to his surprise, an aerial look revealed not one, but three animals drifting along together.

A saltwater crocodile and tiger shark had homed in on the carcass for some easy pickings, and while you might expect that sort of rendezvous to end in a territorial skirmish, the two scavengers steered clear of each other during the encounter. 

Australia is one of only a handful of places in the world where terrestrial and marine predators sometimes compete for the same food. The hulk of this humpback, however, offers plenty of sustenance for everyone, so we're not surprised to see the two carnivores eating peacefully side by side. Even the most capable hunters can "play nice" when there's enough food to go around. (Just check out this video of great whites and tiger sharks sharing a blubber-rich meal!)

"When a whale dies in the Kimberleys, the sharks have to share with the crocodiles," Tucker wrote on Instagram.

A post shared by Jeremy Tucker (@jtux) on Oct 2, 2017 at 3:05am PDT

It's certainly not unheard of for crocodiles to target sharks (and vice versa), but this tends to happen when one animal is significantly smaller than the other. In one reported case, the stomach of a 14-foot tiger shark caught off the South African coast was found to contain the forequarters of a juvenile Nile crocodile. Meanwhile, an exceptionally large Australian "saltie" has made a name for himself (he's known to locals as "Brutus") near the Adelaide River for his habit of nabbing juvenile bull sharks from their freshwater nurseries.

The animals in Tucker's footage, on the other hand, appear relatively well matched in the size department, and neither one looks sick or injured. 

Sharks and crocodiles will occasionally come to blows with their own sizeable kin if competition gets tough. Just last week, a behind-the-scenes clip from the BBC's "Blue Planet II" showed a group of sixgill sharks getting aggressive over a whale carcass. We've seen similar behaviour among tiger sharks, too:



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