Shark Seen Regurgitating Echidna In Surprising First

Shark Seen Regurgitating Echidna In Surprising First - Merchant Navy Info - News

A tiger shark in northern Australia has surprised researchers by spawning a fully intact and famously land-dwelling echidna.

The team from James Cook University (JCU) was on a trip tagging sharks near Orpheus Island in Queensland. During their trip, they witnessed the moment in May 2022.

They believe it is the first time a tiger shark has been recorded eating one of the spiky animals. The tiger shark can grow to about 50cm long.

“When it spat out, I looked at it and remarked: “What the hell is that?” said shark researcher Nicolas Lubitz.

“I managed to only get one picture, but you can see the outline of the echidna in the water.”

Tiger Shark Regurgitates Echidna

The researchers believe the echidna is a species found only in Australia. It is also found in some parts of Papua New Guinea. They must have been nabbed while they swam in the shallows or between islands.

Known for their voracious appetites, tiger sharks are not exactly picky eaters. They have been documented eating seabirds, tyres, licence plates, and even a small TV.

“I’ve seen videos of them eating a rock for no reason,” Dr Lubitz said.

However, it is more unusual for them to regurgitate food, and he suspects this 3m-long shark underestimated its catch.

“It was a fully intact echidna with all its spines and its legs,” he said.

“In this case, I think the echidna must have just felt a bit funny in its throat.”

The shark was unharmed during the encounter. It was fitted with a tracker and then released back into the waters.

The JCU team was part of a three-year, state-wide effort to tag species such as snapper, mullet, rays, and various sharks with acoustic and satellite trackers to gather data on marine life inhabiting each area.

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