Cookie-cutter Shark

Preview An elephant seal with round scars from a cookie-cutter shark lays on the beach.
(Jerry Kirkhart)

Ever heard of a cookie-cutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis)? They look like your average shark—sort of menacing and streamlined—but their name comes from how they feed. They eat smaller animals (like squid) whole, but also take large, round cookie-cutter shaped bites out of larger animals, such as tuna, whales, dolphins, and seals (which you can see in this picture of an elephant seal). They suction on to the larger animals and twist around to take a bite of flesh using their lower row of sharp teeth. No snowmen cookies though—just a round hole.

Tags: Feeding