Two great whites that were captured on video swimming off Cape Cod this week didn't have to do much work to snag a tasty meal.
Researchers from the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown on Friday shared a video on YouTube of the pair of predators feasting on the floating corpse of an 11-foot minke whale in Cape Cod Bay, off North Truro.
Workers from the organization had responded to the scene Wednesday following a report about the dead whale. As they continued to monitor the carcass the following day, after receiving a second report, they captured on video the sharks swimming up to the dead female whale and biting into it.
"At least two white sharks were attending the whale and had removed the tongue, internal organs, and most of the muscle," officials said in a statement. "The carcass was still floating, but was essentially little more than the spinal column and skull."
The team left the carcass, and alerted state and town officials about the presence of the sharks, they said.
On Friday morning, the remains of what researchers believe is the same whale carcass washed up on Beach Point, in North Truro.
Late Friday morning, the town of Truro said it had closed three beaches to swimming and it was "advising beach patrons at all beaches to be cautious in the water." In a website posting, the town said it recommended that bayside beach patrons be "particularly vigilant" and report any sightings to police.
Scott Landry, the director of the center's marine animal entanglement response team, said in a statement that although they primarily study the activities of living whales, it's important to respond to these types of reports.
"Had we not had the opportunity to closely examine this whale over the last 48 hours and witness firsthand the rapid deterioration of the carcass, we might have assumed that these reports represented separate individuals," he said. "How carcasses change over time is helpful in understanding the likelihood of discovering whale carcasses at sea and how this relates to our understanding of populations."