Monday, June 9, 2014

Australia: Here There Be Monsters

Unknown Predator Attacks and Eats 9 ft Great White Shark
A great white shark measuring nine foot (2.7m) that was "savagely devoured" by a mystery creature off Australia's coast has become the topic of a documentary, with filmmaker David Riggs looking to find out what mystery creature was responsible for the attack.

The film, Hunt for the Super Predator, which is due to air on the Smithsonian Channel, sees Riggs hunting down the creature that attacked and killed the shark in the Southern Ocean 11 years ago.
Yeah, right there; that's the spot! Don't you dare stop.

Riggs, a cinematographer, has worked tirelessly since to find out what could have killed one of the ocean's top predators.

In the film, Australian scientists explain that the great white shark had been tagged with a tracking device. They said the shark was eaten by a mystery creature in the depths of the ocean four months later, with the tag washing up on shore about 4km from where it was initially tagged.
Look Out ! It's right behind me!

In a clip from the film, Riggs says: "When I was first told about the data that came back from the tag that was on the shark, I was absolutely blown away."

The shark had been swimming at a depth of 1,900ft when there was a huge temperature change – going from 7C to 25C in just seconds.

Scientists say this could only have happened by the shark being eaten by another creature – the latter temperature indicates that the tag was inside the stomach of another animal.

"The question that not only came to my mind but everyone's mind who was involved was, 'what did that?'" Riggs said. "It was obviously eaten. What's gonna eat a shark that big? What could kill a 9ft great white?"

Whatever it is is big enough to be functionally warm blooded if not fully warm blooded. I suppose it's not warm enough to be a Killer whale, at least one pod of which is known to kill and eat Great Whites. Another, really large Great White would fill the bill, I suppose, as would a number of other large and less well known sharks. BenK at Ace's, suggests Megalodon, probably tongue in cheek, but if Megalodon was still around we'd find a lot of non-fossil teeth, and more chewed up whales.

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