We've said it once, and we'll say it again: it's a shark-eat-shark world out there!

While strolling along the Swansea Channel in New South Wales, Australia, two local residents happened upon a pair of bull sharks feasting in the shallows. But it wasn't until they got closer that they realised the animals were snacking on their close kin.


 

Many of the oceans' top predators munch on other sharks from time to time, including ragged tooth, sevengill and great whites, to name a few. Almost any smaller shark is susceptible to predation by a larger shark – baby or sub-adult sharks are particularly vulnerable – but such encounters rarely play out where we can observe them. 

"It was unreal," says Daniel Poka, who filmed the video. "One swam away before I started filming. I'd never seen anything like it before, nor had my fiancée!" 

Poka's video has generated lots of interest, with several commenters on his Facebook page offering up different interpretations of the event. Some speculated that the sharks' prey was in fact a gull – and that the bull sharks actively hunted it. We've seen gulls gulped down by a shark before, but in this case, Poka is confident about the shark-eat-shark scenario (in the video, what appear to be wings are actually the pectoral fins on a portion of the carcass, which is upside-down).

However, Poka also clarifies that the hungry sharks came upon an already-expired meal. "That shark was dead before we started filming," he says. 

News of the sharks' appearance in the Swansea Channel has made some local residents a little nervous, but their presence in these waters isn't all that unusual – it's just that most of the time, the animals swim by unnoticed. Bull sharks can adjust their biological processes to survive in a variety of environments, and they often show up in Australia's rivers to reproduce and feed.

The Swansea Channel links the Pacific Ocean to Lake Macquarie, a saltwater lagoon known for the occasional shark resident ... a brief pause while we remember "It's a great white!" guy:


Now seems like a good time to end off with our usual reminder: sharks certainly aren't the mindless killing machines of Jaws fame, but they are wild and potentially dangerous animals. Should you find yourself in a similar situation, make sure you keep a respectful distance, and don't attempt to feed them (that can land you hefty fines in some cases). You don't need a shark selfie that badly. 

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 Top header image: Shutterstock