A crocodile ambushing a shark in the middle of a briny feeding frenzy is the sort of fisherman's tale that many would treat with skepticism. Except that these fishermen came home with video evidence…

Filmmakers Christian Kennedy and Jadranko Silic were on a fishing trip off the coast of Kimberley in Western Australia recently when they managed to capture footage of a saltwater croc launching a sneak-attack on an unsuspecting shark. "The boat crew were filleting fish from a recent fishing expedition and were disposing of some of the fish scraps off the back of [the] boat," Kennedy explained to PerthNow.

Attracted by the prospect of an easy meal, several sharks began to circle the fishing vessel and were feeding on the offcuts when an opportunistic croc turned up to ruin the party.

"It wasn't interested in the fish scraps," according to Kennedy. "It just lay in the water patiently waiting. Then suddenly, as a shark swam up to grab a fish scrap, the croc grabbed the shark and dragged it away to nearby mangroves."

Although the behaviour is not often witnessed, crocs have been known to dine on sharks (and vice versa), and this is certainly not the first time we've seen these apex predators clash in the salty shallows. Back in 2014, an 80-year-old saltwater crocodile (locally known as Brutus) clamped his well-aged chompers around an unfortunate bull shark that had ventured from its ocean home for an ill-fated trip up the Adelaide River. Four years earlier, reports emerged of a bull shark dispatched by a sizeable "saltie" in Kakadu National Park.

The prospect of an ancient reptile tangled in a predatory brawl with the ocean's most formidable fish may seem thrilling, but the truth is that these animals rarely pick on prey their own size: large crocs almost always dine on little sharks and big sharks eat small crocs. Shark pups born in mangrove nurseries are easy picking for hungry crocs, while river-cruising sharks will readily snatch up crocodile hatchlings if given a chance.

In this case, the unfortunate shark lunged out of the water at exactly the wrong moment and ended up on the menu. "I've seen sharks and crocs in the wild, but I've never seen a croc catch a shark before," Kennedy says. "Everyone was pretty amazed. It's not something you see every day."

And just in case you find yourself wondering about the seafaring tendencies of crocodiles, here's everything you've ever wanted to know: 



Header image: Pandiyan V