"Shark-eating seal among rare and stunning scenes documented off South Africa"

cobblandcobbland "Shorty": Belly (1998)Chicago...Posts: 3,768 ✭✭✭✭✭
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 8:54am PST
Shark-eating seal among rare and stunning scenes documented off South Africa
By: Pete Thomas, GrindTV.com

Chris and Monique Fallows have witnessed many extraordinary events while diving off South Africa.

But during two recent expeditions they captured wildly spectacular scenes that may never have been photographed: that of a voracious cape fur seal boldly snacking on large sharks; and dozens of blue sharks gathered around and gorging on an enormous ball of bait fish.

Of the former event, revealing the raw dynamics of the food chain, Chris Fallows said: "There were eight guests aboard our vessel, many of them seasoned wildlife enthusiasts. None had ever seen anything like this as sharks of this size are certainly not usually considered food for seals.

"In more than 2,000 expeditions working with sharks over the last 21 years, this is the only time I have ever seen a seal kill several sharks and I can find no record of such an event happening elsewhere."


The seal consumed the stomach and livers of the first two sharks, before killing three others.

Chris and Monique Fallows run Apex Shark Expeditions and the Apex Predators Facebook page. They allowed the use of these images, which are protected by copyright laws, for this story only.


The company offers seasonal "Sardine Run" expeditions, which coincide with mass schooling of sardines along the coast.

The sardines, in turn, attract all manner of large predators, including diving sea birds and the occasional shark.


But during one of the recent expeditions the crew found an enormous bait ball, in this case anchovies, 25 miles offshore, in blue shark domain. After plunging alongside the bait ball the divers noted the eeriness stemming from the fact that there were few other predators besides about 40 sharks, herding the bait fish like dogs herd sheep, occasionally going in and snapping up mouthfuls.


"This was a first for us and as far as I can research the first time such an event has been witnessed underwater," Chris Fallows said. "Even though our company runs the world famous sardine run expeditions each year, this spectacle was incredible as it was out in the open ocean, 40 kilometers out to sea, in blue water.


"I would be on one side of the ball and suddenly a shark would come through the ball and on occasion bump straight into me. Whilst this was going on tuna were rocketing up all over to grab any anchovies that tried to flee from the sharks. For three hours we drifted with this feeding orgy, with these magnificent bright blue sharks just doing their business. We were simply just observing nature in action, it was insane."

The Fallows' next scheduled sardine run is in June.


The pictures were used by the Daily Mail last week in their story.

LUClENVIBEBilly_PonchoStoneColdMikeyYoung_Chitlinunspoken_respectbankrupt ballerptnutzBarryHalls


  • LUClENLUClEN Baddest Man on the Planet On the movePosts: 18,954 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Fuck yah

    Mammals 1
    fish 0
  • VIBEVIBE Posts: 49,051 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Seals FTW master link in the food chain.
  • ragerage Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know this nigga is not tryin that shit with a great white, blue sharks are small and are light work for a fur seal.
  • PlutarchPlutarch Philly by way of Ca$hvillePosts: 2,484 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hehe, for some reason, I read the thread title as "seal-eating sharks..." and was like so what? Then I saw that pic, wow. Interesting.

    But sharks are like lions. They're incredibly overrated. The only sharks that are really about that life are bull sharks, great whites, and a couple of others I can't remember right now. You can acutally swim with any other kind of shark, and they won't attack. They're afraid of humans. Don't let Jaws fool you like the Lion King probably did.
  • LUClENLUClEN Baddest Man on the Planet On the movePosts: 18,954 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Lions are extremely territorial though. I've read that a lion's 'personal space' can extend for miles, and anything within that vicinity is fair game to get put in their place
  • dalyricalbanditdalyricalbandit Co-Owner Of AllhipHop.com, Super Moderator, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 61,035 Regulator
    ok now let them seals try that shit on a Great White then ima a be like Oh shit
  • unspoken_respectunspoken_respect I will go where there's no path and leave behind a trail. Posts: 9,613 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That seal was thinking ”that sardine is big as fuck!”
  • PlutarchPlutarch Philly by way of Ca$hvillePosts: 2,484 ✭✭✭✭✭
    RodrigueZz wrote: »
    Lions are extremely territorial though. I've read that a lion's 'personal space' can extend for miles, and anything within that vicinity is fair game to get put in their place

    That's true. It's also true that lions uncharacteristically and sometimes successfully hunt other rival predators (because they're bad hunters and thus must eliminate other hunters). But all of this is easy when you're a relatively large "apex" predator. Many other animals would outlion a lion if they were as big as lions.

    1. It can be argued that hyenas are relatively stronger, smarter, and more resourceful than lions. In certain situations, hyenas can back down lions (not likely full grown male lions though). Crocodiles are one of the few animals that can threaten and kill lions. And even wild African dogs have been known to kill lions at least in a few, rare occasions.

    2. For all that "king of the jungle" talk, lions actually spend most of their time hunting relatively smaller, sicker, and weaker prey. They generally tend to avoid giraffes, rhinos, hippos (perhaps the most dangerous animal in the world btw and which is also very territorial), etc.

    3. Despite the idiom - "heart of a lion," lions actually have very small hearts and thus have bad stamina and thus aren't proficient hunters. Their hunting success rate is about 30% - much lower than hyenas for instance. Even African wild dogs' hunting success rate is about 80%. Lions spend most of their time stealing kills from hyenas and other animals.

    4. They're also the most boring of the four big cats. Tigers are obviously stronger and more independent than lions. Leopards can climb trees and are great hunters. And jaguars are apex predators and have the most powerful bite (that can crush through the skull of their prey) of the four, including lions. What do lions have? A pretty mane.
  • LUClENLUClEN Baddest Man on the Planet On the movePosts: 18,954 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • ragerage Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    FuriousOne wrote: »
    Mammals still winning though. Killer Whales will fuck up anything in the Ocean and then do a flip and wave at the kids at seaworld.


    There is nothing in the water that is fucking with a pod of Killer Whales
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