California sailors are amazed to see an adult otter attacking a meter-long horned shark.
Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) feed primarily on invertebrates such as shrimp, crabs, snails, clams, and sea urchins. They also hunt a few small fish and have even reported eating otters eating large prey like rays. However, sharks were never confirmed on their menu, according to researcher Michael D. Harris of the California Bureau of Fish and Wildlife.
The exceptionally rare images captured by Sea Otter Savvy photographers Don Henderson and Alice Cahill in Morro Bay, California last week are the first to document otters’ behavior in hunting hornbills. .
Witnesses were not sure whether a predator could enjoy the meal, as it only struggled with its prey on the water for a while and then sank.
The horned shark lives at the bottom of the sea and has a diet similar to that of an otter. They are known to be one of the smallest sharks in the world with a length usually not exceeding 1.2m. The individual attacked in Morro Bay is estimated to be only three feet long.
Enhydra lutris, on the other hand, is the largest member of the otter subfamily. They can reach a length of 1.5 m and weigh between 22 and 45 kg. This furry mammal is currently listed as ‘endangered’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red Book with a population of less than 3,000, as reported in 2019.