A 13-foot great white shark was found with two large bite marks on its head, with researchers suspecting they were inflicted by an even larger marine beast.
The shocking injuries were discovered earlier this month when crews from non-profit OCEARCH pulled 'Vimy', a 1,164-pound predator, out of the ocean during a shark expedition off Nova Scotia, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Speaking to the outlet on Wednesday, OCEARCH Chairman Chris Fischer explained what might have happened to the shark.
"It was clear that something had just grabbed his entire head," he said. "It was a very large animal that grabbed it, something significantly bigger… anything that can grab an animal like that by the head is pretty impressive."
According to researchers, the fresh bite mark on top of Vimy's head was only a week old, and that it was mostly inflicted by a larger beast measuring close to 15 feet. In the same vicinity, OCEARCH crews also spotted a 17-foot shark just moments before capturing Vimy. However, it managed to escape before it could be tagged.
That said, the two bite marks on Vimy, both the fresh one and another that he most likely sustained last year, may have been inflicted while competing with another male shark over a female. Marine biologists also theorized Vimy may have been trying to mate with a larger female shark who bit the poor creature in the head before taking off.
"We do know that shark mating is very violent. Sharks biting each other in the head is not a new thing. This is an everyday part of their life," Fischer stated.
The research group has been able to track Vimy's whereabouts after successfully tagging him on October 4. He was found to have been traveling in the Atlantic east of the coast of New Jersey as of Monday, at least 600 miles south from where he was tagged.
OCEARCH also released a video of their successful expedition, which saw them tag a number of sharks, including a great white shark measuring 11.8 feet. Since 2007, the organization has tagged 417 animals. Their work helps researchers better understand the habits and practices of marine life.