BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Atlantic Ocean is filled with predators and prey alike. One large predatory fish’s hunt was caught on video last month.
A group of sharks were seen frantically feeding on the corpse of an 8-foot-long swordfish off the coast of South Carolina.
It is unclear why the swordfish died. Any injuries had probably been eaten away by the sharks, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA).
Then, in an almost unexpected twist, a large wreckfish — also known as a sea bass — used the opportunity to feed on one of the sharks.
The occurrence was seen when NOAA was looking for the site of a World War II shipwreck. The SS Bloody Marsh was sunk by a German U-boat on July 2, 1943.
The site, however, was not a shipwreck, but rather numerous black rock outcrops.
What species of shark?
The sharks seen were classified as two species of dogfish sharks — Genie’s dogfish and roughskin dogfish.
Both species are seen about 700-2,000 feet deep in the ocean.
The Genie’s dogfish are smaller in size. They are named after shark scientist Dr. Genie Clark, according to NOAA.
The roughskin dogfish are larger in size. Researchers spotted at least two of these types of sharks at the feeding.
These sharks live across the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida. Dogfish sharks can be as big as about 3-4 feet in length — 3.3 feet for males, 4 feet for females.
According to NOAA, deep-sea sharks are not typically seen in a group “unless there is some nearby patch of food.”
What is a wreckfish?
This large predatory fish resides in caves or under overhangs, and can live for more than 70 years.
They can be as heavy 220 pounds, but typically weigh between 40-60 pounds. They are usually around 2.5-4 feet in length. But, they can be as long as 6.5 feet.
Wreckfish do not have any known predators.
According to NOAA, the fish “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.”