There are a number of epic battle questions which may always be debated, but never answered: Ninjas or pirates? Predator or Alien? Superman or Batman? But now there's at least one battle debate that may finally be settled: Crocodile or shark?
If you're on Team Crocodile, take a bow.
Recent photos taken by tourists in Australia depict a crocodile attacking and consuming a medium-sized bull shark, reports NT News. According to witness accounts, the crocodile brought the shark ashore, perhaps to garner an advantage on land, and could be seen chomping on it for several moments. The croc, known by locals as "Brutus," then brought the shark, reportedly still alive, back into the water to shake it around some more and finish it off. Once the battle was over, Brutus carried his prized carcass into the mangroves to safeguard the rest of his meal.
The battle was particularly decisive because Brutus is missing one of his legs, which ironically enough may have been lost during a previous shark encounter.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen one of our crocs catch a shark," said Cruise operator Morgan Bowman, who was leading the wildlife tour. "It was amazing. It just shows for an old croc, Brutus is pretty quick.”
Brutus is probably Adelaide River’s most famous and fearsome resident. The 18-foot crocodile is thought to be over 80 years old, and is one of the tour's top wildlife attractions.
Sharks are less common here, but fins are occasionally seen ominously patrolling the murky water. Bull sharks have a tolerance for fresh and estuarine water, and have been known to travel for hundreds of miles inland in rivers. They can grow to nearly 8 feet in length and are widely considered the most dangerous shark to humans (yes, even more dangerous than the great white) due to their aggressive nature and frequent visits to shallow waters.
As fearsome as bull sharks are, though, the presence of a saltwater crocodile might be a far starker cause for concern. These behemoth predators have been known to grow to over 20 feet in length and can weigh in excess of 3,000 pounds. They aren't as swift as a bull shark in the water, but they aren't restricted to the water either.
If there were ever any questions about who the top river predator is, the results of this battle may have finally answered them.
Regardless, if you ever find yourself cruising along Adelaide River in Australia's Northern Territory, you might want to think twice before taking a dip. It's probably best to stay in the boat.
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- Giant 1,000-pound bull shark takes researchers by surprise