Only In Australia: Tiger Shark Vomits Up Entire Echidna

June 7, 2024 10:45 am in by
Photo: Dr. Nicholas Lubitz James Cook University

A group of marine scientists from James Cook University (JCU) got the shock of their lives when a tiger shark they were studying vomited up a whole echidna.

Marine biologist Dr. Nicholas Lubitz and his team were tagging marine life off the coast of Orpheus Island in North Queensland. During their expedition, they caught a tiger shark that decided to regurgitate its last meal right before their eyes. “We were quite shocked at what we saw. We really didn’t know what was going on,” Dr. Lubitz admitted.

Dr. Lubitz managed to snap one photo capturing the outline of the spiky mammal floating in the water, see below image.

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The tiger shark, known for its less-than-discriminatory eating habits, tried the prickly snack but scientists believe that it must have felt uncomfortable in its throat and regurgitated it up.

Dr. Lubitz speculated that the shark might have nabbed the echidna as it swam in shallow waters or possibly between islands. The unexpected sight left the team shocked, especially considering how unusual it is for marine predators to snack on land-dwelling creatures like echidnas.

While it’s not uncommon for tiger sharks to consume odd items (license plates and tyres, people), an echidna is believed to be a world-first discovery.