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When a Seabird’s Playful Antics Meet a Great White Shark’s Appetite

Great White shark ready to attack
Great White shark while coming to you on deep blue ocean background. Image via Depositphotos

Deep Blue Sea

Great White Shark
Great White Shark with mouth open. Image via Depositphotos

In the deep blue waters off Port Lincoln, Australia, a petrel bird floated, seemingly carefree, yet dangerously close to the lurking peril beneath. The great white shark, a formidable predator of the oceans, was enticed closer to the surface, not just by the tuna tail bait tossed by eager tourists but also by the audacious bird that teased the shark with its proximity. In a swift, explosive attack, the shark breached the water’s surface, marking a sudden and dramatic end to the bird’s daring tease.

The Unexpected Encounter

Great white shark
Great white shark By Elias Levy – Great White Shark, CC BY 2.0,

Benjamin Kessler and other wildlife enthusiasts ventured into the ocean on a shark tour, their eyes wide with anticipation, unknowing of the dramatic spectacle that awaited them. The calm, seemingly inviting ocean was a deceptive facade. The splashy entrance of the tuna tail bait into the water lured in sharks and petrel birds. Ever opportunistic, the birds flocked towards the prospect of an easy meal.

Nature’s Ruthless Display

Shark eats bird
Great white shark eats the petrel bird. Source: YouTube, Channel Caters Clips

Below the surface lurked a four-meter giant of the sea: the great white shark. The seemingly oblivious yet audacious petrel teased the shark with its daring proximity. With a speed and precision that belied its size, the shark lunged and snapped its jaws shut with ferocious power, making the bird disappear in that moment.

Birds in the Shark’s Diet

Great white shark smiling
Great white shark smiling. By Hermanus Backpackers – Great White Shark Cage Diving, CC BY 2.0,

Baby tiger sharks in the Gulf of Mexico have shown the diverse feeding habits of sharks, with documented cases of them having remains of land birds in their stomachs. This dramatic encounter isn’t isolated and showcases the vast and unpredictable nature of the oceans.

YouTube video
Video showing shark eating a petrel bird. © Caters Clips YouTube

The Ocean’s Unwritten Rules

The shark’s explosive breach left the onlookers in awe in the hushed aftermath. Nature, in its raw, untethered majesty, had unveiled a spectacle of life and death before their eyes, a stark reminder of the intricate, delicate balance that defines the grandeur of the ocean.

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Latest posts by Cayla de Souza, M.Sc. Ocean Sciences & Marine Biology (see all)


Wednesday 11th of October 2023

Rodney Fox shark expeditions in port Lincoln also offers surface cage dives. You don't need to be a qualified diver. But they sre the only tour in the world that does ocean floor cage dive if you are a qualified diver. Also more days on the boat = more cage time


Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

That’s unfortunate for the Seabird that it’s playful antics were distracted by bated food from the humans on the boat. This set up the Great White for easy prey.

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