Watch dozens of sharks feeding on the carcass of a dead whale: ScienceAlert

Tiger sharks are usually solitary creatures, but nothing brings scavengers together like the delicious smell of a dead whale.

These big buffets can attract dozens of sharks at once, and yet such feasts are rarely caught on camera.

In late June, a drone flying off the coast of Queensland, Australia, captured an extraordinary gathering of about 50 tiger sharks tearing apart the carcass of a deceased humpback whale.

The rare sight is important for shark research and serves as a warning to local swimmers.

“Where there are dead whales, there are likely to be sharks nearby and this sighting clearly shows why this is happening,” Warn Senior Warden Daniel Clifton of the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES).

“The death of one whale, though sad, creates a source of life for many other scavengers including fish, sharks and other marine life. We are fortunate here at Great Sandy Marine Park that we can experience these natural processes firsthand.”

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To ensure the natural feeding event could still be easily monitored offshore, officials pinned the humpback remains to a safe location in Hervey Bay.

Directly from above, drone footage shows the shadows of sharks circling the whale’s carcass. Occasionally, a single shark can be seen lunging at the whale and grabbing it, slamming its body back and forth as it tries to tear off a bite.

At one point in the video, you can actually see a yellow cloud drifting out from under the whale as frenzy sharks attack it from below; A possible sign of gas and gastric juices leaking into the water.

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Yellow juices flowing from the belly of a whale carcass. (Queensland Department of Environment and Science)

Scientists were only studying whale breath events like this one over the past 30 years or soand while tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier(They are frequent visitors, it is not uncommon for them to join their species with others, such as great white sharks)Carcharodon carcharias) or bull sharks (Karcharinus Lucas).

Indeed, off the coast of Australia, researchers have done just that registered A few instances where white and tiger sharks simultaneously fed on whale carcasses in apparent peace.

Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus Porosus) It can even sometimes join the battle.

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Sharks may be among the first creatures to arrive at the whales’ banquet, but their remains have been keeping the ecosystems of the ocean depths busy for decades.

When a whale dies naturally, the fat and gases in its body keep it afloat for a while. As the scavengers begin picking up the remains, the skeleton inevitably begins to sink.

This is called a “whale fall,” and it supplies essential nutrients to ocean floor organisms from above. Snakes, worms, crabs, and octopuses have all been recorded feeding on whale skeletons at extreme depths. They even eat bones.

With so many hungry mouths to feed, no part of a dead whale goes to waste.

Even in death, these noble creatures bring renewed life to the ocean.

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