Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bird Prey, not a tasty meal!

IT looked like a tasty meal from under the water.But on taking the first bite, this Great White shark soon found out the bird was not a delicious morsel after all - and spat it out.
This picture shows how ferocious a shark can be when it is hungry, even if its prey is not usually on its menu. It was taken by Sydney-based photographer Jacqui Larsen during a dive trip to South Neptune Island off the state's West Coast in July last year.
Ms Larsen watched from on board a charter boat as the 4.2m shark targeted the giant petrel.
She said everyone on board the boat, including the trip's organisers, were stunned by the rare display of behaviour.

The shark rapidly closed in on the unsuspecting bird from about 9m below to snatch it into its jaws.
The shark swam off with it in its mouth for about 100m then spat it out.
"The shark just came out of nowhere," Ms Larsen said.

"It had a taste (of the bird) and decided it wasn't an eel or a fish or whatever she thought it was and spat it out again.

"The sharks are well known to chase these birds around the surface and the birds usually get away but this bird wasn't so lucky."

Just hours earlier the dive group had been swimming in a cage with up to five Great White sharks around them at one time.

"It was phenomenal - not too many people get to see Great Whites do that sort of thing," Ms Larsen said.


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