Scientists have made the amazing discovery that alligators actually like to eat sharks, if they're given the opportunity to grab one.
Alligators are the perfectly evolved killing machine, existing on this planet since the time of the dinosaurs. And as it turns out, not even sharks can match up to them, as gators will apparently munch on sharks if they can get a hold of them, according to a new study.
Researchers have been able to document instances where alligators have eaten small sharks on the United States coast in the Atlantic and the Gulf, claims the study, which was published in the journal Southeastern Naturalist. It’s the first study of its kind to examine the relationship between these two apex predators.
Of course, a lot of it comes down to size. Alligators will obviously choose smaller sharks to take down, and it’s not unheard of for a large shark to make off with a small gator. The findings were based on 10 years of study of alligators along the Florida and Georgia coasts, and involved catching more than 500 alligators and pumping their stomachs.
“In the article, we documented alligators consuming three new species of sharks and one species of stingray,” James Nifong, postdoctoral researcher with the Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Kansas State University, said in a statement. “Before this, there have only been a few observations from an island off the Georgia coast, but the new findings document the occurrence of these interactions from the Atlantic coast of Georgia around the Florida peninsula to the Gulf Coast and Florida panhandle.”