Featured Image Credit:Ryan Lawler @ Newport Coastal Adventure
Sea lions have always been thought of as cute and cuddly because of their big ole eyes and blubbery pinniped bodies. You really can’t help but love them.
Sorry, but that’s going to change. The fact is that sea lions are actually serious and savage predators.
Ryan Lawler from Newport Coastal Adventure captured some incredible photos of a sea lion shredding apart a horn shark. Now, it’s pretty common for a great white shark to prey upon a sea lion, but we’re seeing the tables turn with this aggressive sea lion attack.
While out on a whale-watching tour on Monday, Newport Coastal Adventures’ passengers watched in awe as a sea lion strategically devoured a 4-foot horn shark.
In an interview with GrindTV, Captain Lawler commented:
“We were on a trip and looking for a gray whale that was supposed to be in the area. I saw some splashing which I knew wasn’t a whale or dolphin, but was big enough to catch my attention.
“Getting closer we saw a sea lion violently thrashing around some freshly caught prey. This is not too uncommon but we are always interested in what exactly it might be, as the sea lion’s diet varies widely.
“After I got a picture of predator and prey I realized it was a horn shark that was being eaten. While I have seen sea lions eat thresher sharks, angel sharks, and a variety of skates and rays this was the first horn shark, and a bit of a surprise because of the deeper water we were in (180 feet).
“And also keep in mind the horn shark has two defensive dorsal ‘horns’ to dissuade predators, so this sea lion was being pretty methodical about how it was eating this shark.”
Good work Newport Coastal Adventures! Keep the AWESOME ocean encounters coming.