Tiger sharks have taken to a new feeding technique that humans can easily relate to and it’s even influencing the migration patterns among the species.
Instead of fighting for their food, sharks have targeted the carcasses of green sea turtles on Raine Island. The remote island is located off the Queensland coast and is the nesting site to thousands of turtles.
With such a high birth rate, the likelihood of females dying from exhaustion is high. It is estimated each day up to two turtles die, which provides the lingering tiger sharks with an easy snack.
When any predator attacks they run the risk of injuring themselves and sometimes that cost outweighs the benefit. In this case, the sharks have realised they can reap the benefits of a tasty and nutritious meal with little or no cost.
In turn this has influenced the migration behaviour of tiger sharks. Scientists from James Cook University, Biopixel and the Australian Institute of Marine Science have been involved in research that studies how this new feeding behaviour has changed the swimming patterns of both green sea turtles and tiger sharks.
After tracking individuals using satellite tagging, the research found that sharks were swimming as far as Papa New Guinea to feast on the turtle carcasses.
Aussies really will do anything for an easy feed!