BREAKING NEWS: Sleeper sharks as predators of giant squid

Sordes

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Sperm whales are very very massive animals, but in relation to their size, they have very thin skin, and this skin isn´t very hard too, as the many scars of squid suckers and teeth on the bodies of bulls show. But sharks have very thick and hard skin, all, including sleeper sharks, and all have small teeth on the surface of the skin, which makes them not only faster, but also better protected against attacks. I have still the remains of a sharks skin from a shark-steak I ate. The steak belonged to an animal which was surely not longer than 2m, but the skin was about 5mm thick (it was probably a female, because they have thicker skin) and very hard, I had even problem to cut it with a sharp knife. In this case I don´t wonder why sharks show no sucker markings on their skin. Sleeper sharks can grow very large, about as large or perhaps even larger than great whites, although their size is often exagerated in the popular press. A specimen of 5m would have an armour-like skin of nearly 2cm thickness.
Sleeper sharks are often said to be inactive scavengers, but in fact this animals also hunt actively. It would also be strange if such large animals could always find enough carrion. They hunt no only fish and squid, but also often seals, and greenland sharks were even found with whole rendeers in their stomaches, they probably killed when a herd did swim in a fjord or between isles.
 
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I was wondering if you could build a machine like in the ones in "Animal Face-off" from Discovery Channel that emulates the effectiveness of a Messie's arms, hooks and beak on a piece of shark skin.
Sleeper Shark vs. Messie, anyone?
 
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Sordes said:
Sleeper sharks are often said to be inactive scavengers, but in fact this animals also hunt actively. It would also be strange if such large animals could always find enough carrion. They hunt no only fish and squid, but also often seals, and greenland sharks were even found with whole rendeers in their stomaches, they probably killed when a herd did swim in a fjord or between isles.
Or, again, fed on a reindeer that drowned during the crossing and sank to the bottom where the sharks are found. They might not need a whole lot of food either. They are generally leisurely swimmers, live in cold waters, grow slowly, etc. It might be that they have evolved to need little food as a result of scavenging. Also, many repiltes only eat once every week or two (snakes, crocs, etc.). Just cause its a big animal doesn't mean that it needs a lot of food. Though that would make sweet footage of a sleeper shark attacking a herd of reindeer, I'll wait until I see it to believe it.

Excellent posts and interesting thread!
Cheers!
 

Sordes

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I had also the same idea. But greenland sharks are relatively often caught only some metres under the surface, and a large greenland shark would surely use the opportunity to catch a swimming rendeer, and I also read that they even swim sometimes in very shallow water in the fjords, near the mouths of rivers. So it could imagine that they sometimes really attack swimming rendeer (and undoubtly eat also drown ones).
Although sleeper and greenland sharks have a very slow metabolism, I really doubt that they feed only on carrion.
 
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"Although the sleeper shark may be the most spectacular individual shark surveyed, I gotta say, the lantern shark is just as interesting. The ventral surface of this small shark is luminescent, which has led some to speculate that this schooling animal uses light to maintain cohesive formations in the lightless, benthic realm. These schools should also be capable of killing prey items much larger then the individual sharks (which average less than 18 inches in length). (I think schooling attacks on Mesonychoteuthis may have been proposed by some smart person over in the “Colossal Squid Necroscopy” thread.)"

I've been looking at the gut contents of some lantern sharks recently and they have mostly contained bits of prey, not whole animals. Only discovered this thread today, it's very interesting.
 

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