HILTON HEAD, S.C. - An alligator ate a shark off the South Carolina coast, winning a battle between two of nature’s most ferocious predators.
The 7-foot alligator, known as “Charlie,” is seen on video eating a baby bonnethead shark Friday while swimming in Skull Creek, which is part of the Intracoastal Waterway, according to The Island Packet.
While alligators are more known as freshwater predators, scientists believe clashes between the reptiles and sharks are becoming more frequent.
Alligators lack saltwater glands but a recent study indicates the reptiles are regaining tolerance to it. Another study has found that alligators eat four types of sharks, according to Southeastern Naturalist.
“It’s not an outlier or short-term blip,” Brian Silliman, a Duke University ecologist, wrote in a study about alligators appearing in saltwater, according to the Packet. “It’s the old norm, the way it used to be before we pushed these species onto their last legs in hard-to-reach refuges. Now, they are returning.”
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