By Josie August 7th, 2023
Giant petrels, often dubbed the “vultures of the sea,” have a diet that underscores their aggressive nature.
These formidable birds are not picky eaters; they scavenge and hunt with equal fervor.
They actively hunt squid, fish, and even penguins - they also don’t shy away from attacking other seabirds, including albatrosses.
There are accounts of giant petrels forcefully holding other birds underwater to drown them or bashing them against the rocks.
A king penguin finds itself targeted by a giant petrel, which pins the penguin down with its sharp beak and powerful grip.
As the scene unfolds, other giant petrels join in, forming a menacing gang, and begin to peck and tear at the helpless penguin, eating it alive.
Giant Petrels are equipped with a sharp, hooked beak that can inflict serious injuries and is perfect for tearing flesh.
Giant Petrels also projectile-vomit putrid stomach oils at threats or unwanted entities - it deters potential predators and spoils the food for other animals.
Historical records reveal that these birds were once the bane of sailors - sailors who fell overboard were often attacked by these formidable birds.
Using the sharp hook at the end of their bills, the petrels would target the sailors’ faces and eyes - one incident reports a sailor being killed.
Giant petrels primarily inhabit the sub-Antarctic and sub-tropical oceans, breeding on remote islands in these regions