From Mutualistic Partner to Hunted Prey?
Open Journal of Animal Sciences (OJAS)
Negaprion brevirostris, killing a sharksucker, Echeneis lucrates, which has been recorded during a dive with lemon sharks. Does this observation indicate
that the symbiosis between the two species may shift occasionally? The
awkwardness of the recorded kill, combined with its comparatively long
duration, suggests this bout be a freak incident, rather than a common
occurrence; thus, the mutualistic relationship needs not be questioned. What triggered the bout, however, can only be
speculated. Although the caloric value of the killed sharksucker is not known,
a feeding-oriented behavior can likely be rejected as the potential cause based
on the teleost’s rather small size, and an irritation related issue is more
likely to have triggered this bout.