Tiger Sharks Feast on Migratory Birds that Fall Out of the Sky
Published:12 Jun.2019    Source:ScienceNews

It all started when a small tiger shark barfed up a bunch of feathers. A fisheries ecologist in Biloxi had been catching sharks as part of a long-term shark monitoring program in the north-central Gulf of Mexico. Typically, a shark spent only about 90 seconds out of the water, enough time for scientists to weigh and tag it before releasing it. But one day in 2010, a tiger shark, perhaps stressed by the experience, left its stomach contents on the boat’s deck. “Being the science nerd I am, I scooped up all the feathers, all that tiger shark barf, and put it in a bag and took it back to the lab,” Drymon says. Little did he know that those stomach contents would lead to a discovery about how young tiger sharks take advantage of bird migrations to get a free meal.