Astonishing footage has revealed the moment a savage grouper fish devoured an entire shark in one bite.
The video was taken by researchers trying to find shipwrecks on the sea floor and such ambitious meals are rarely captured on camera.
A grouper’s diet predominantly includes crabs and other crustaceans but they are also known to regularly eat slow-moving fish. Sharks however, are hardly ever on the menu.
Due to their preference for the depths of the oceans, recorded events are scarce but fisherman from Florida captured one snatching their catch, a black tip shark, off the line in one bite in 2014.
The most recent event saw eleven sharks picking clean the carcass of a large swordfish weighing around 250lbs (113kg) when the grouper arrived.
It proceeded to engulf one of the small sharks, known as a dogfish, and the entire ruckus was observed by researchers from the NOAA and captured on camera.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) posted the video and an account of the shocking events on its blog, which read: ‘The swordfish was clearly recently deceased, perhaps only by a few hours, given the condition of its body and the rapid disappearance of its flesh into the stomachs of the sharks.
‘The cause of the death of this majestic animal is unclear, perhaps owing to age, disease, or some other injury.
‘There was no visible hook or trail of fishing line suggesting this was a lost catch.
‘However, any type of injury would have been masked by the massive damage caused by hundreds of shark bites.’
Groupers are large bony fish whereas sharks are described as cartilaginous. Both are deep-sea species that live at depths of around 700-2,000 feet (213-610 meters).
The onlooking scientists claim the hungry fish used the NOAA’s exploratory rover for cover in order to snare its meal.
They write: ‘It demonstrated the ability of large predatory fishes to feed on smaller sharks.
‘The wreckfish appears unable to feed on the swordfish directly itself, but by joining the sharks, it was able to feed on an animal that was.’
Normally the research team sees little signs of sharks but the presence of the 250lb swordfish brought out a host of animals looking to scavenge its remains.