'Super predator' that devoured great white shark investigated by researchers
Documentary explores which 'mystery monster' could have eaten a nine-foot-long shark off Australia's coast
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Wednesday 11 June 2014
A team of Australian researchers are attempting to hunt down the mystery 'sea monster' that “savagely devoured” a nine-foot-long Great White Shark 11 years ago.
The incident came to light four months after the researchers tagged the animal as part of Australia’s first large scale great white shark tagging project to study their movement patterns along the coast.
The device was discovered when it washed ashore 2.5 miles from where the creature was initially tagged.
Data from the device showed the healthy female shark suddenly plunged at high speed to a depth of 1,900-foot, (580 metres) beneath the surface.
The tag recorded a dramatic temperature shift from 7°C to 25°C, suggesting the tag was inside the stomach of another animal as it ate the shark.
"When I was first told about the data that came back from the tag that was on the shark, I was absolutely blown away," filmmaker David Riggs said.
"The question that not only came to my mind but everyone's mind who was involved was, 'What did that?' It was obviously eaten. What's going to eat a shark that big? What could kill a 3-meter (9-foot) great white?"
Researchers believe one possibility could be that the Great White was eaten by a two-ton "colossal cannibal great white shark".
Mr Riggs's quest to find the mystery “super predator” responsible for the attack is the subject of his film, Hunt for the Super Predator, which is due to air on the Smithsonian Channel on 25 June.
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