Sea turtles are certainly not small animals, but it’s doubtful that many people would put their money on one in a battle against a tiger shark. However, on a sunny day off the coast of Australia, one very determined female loggerhead turtle demonstrated that size isn’t the only path to victory. Believe it or not, this indomitable sea turtle emerged triumphant, miraculously outlasting her formidable foe in an epic struggle that was caught on camera!
A large tiger shark swimming off the coast of Western Australia thought it would enjoy a tasty loggerhead turtle, but it turns out the turtle had other plans. In the video, captured by Jack Garnett and his drone, you can see the very large tiger shark attempting to take down a female loggerhead turtle. However, the turtle continually rolls over so that her shelled back faces the shark, over and over again. The tiger shark was not ready to be outwitted quite that easily, however, and continued its attack for nearly 10 minutes. It repeatedly circled and attempted to bite the pesky turtle, but she continued to dodge the shark’s attacks.
Finally, after nearly 10 minutes of the battle, the turtle decided it was time to take the upper hand and turned the tables on the would-be predator. In a stunning turn of events, this brave little sea turtle actually bit the shark’s tail herself! The shark had had quite enough and swam away, leaving the turtle to bask in her victory and live another day.
Tiger Sharks vs. Sea Turtles
While marine biologists reported that the sea turtle’s behavior in her epic battle against the tiger shark is common, it is extremely rare for a sea turtle to actually survive such an encounter. Tiger sharks are some of the most lethal predators in the sea; in fact, they are the second largest predatory shark out there, just after the great white shark. A tiger shark can reach lengths of 18 feet and weigh an entire ton! But it’s not just their massive size that makes these sharks such great hunters. Tiger sharks are known for being aggressive predators with very strong mouths and extremely sharp teeth.
Tiger shark teeth have slanted tips and sharp serrations that can puncture through tough shells, clams, flesh, and bone. While their teeth are dangerous and deadly, what makes tiger sharks so terrifying is that they have a bite pressure of more than 6,000 pounds per square centimeter! These perfect predators can (and often do) eat anything and everything they like. Sea turtles, however, are one of their favorite things to eat.
Loggerhead sea turtles — particularly females — have incredible speed and maneuverability, which paid off for our ocean underdog when she found herself facing her sharky adversary. In addition, turtle shells are incredibly hard, and can withstand forces of several thousand pounds. Loggerhead turtles can grow shells around 35 to 41 inches and can weigh 220 to 397 pounds. While these shells offer excellent protection against many predators, a tiger shark’s teeth are sharp and strong enough to penetrate them. However, as this video displays, a sea turtle’s incredible speed and maneuverability can make the difference between a sharky snack and a miraculous escape.
More from A-Z Animals
The Featured Image
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.