With Fronds Like These . . .

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on July 1, 2019
As the first omnivorous shark on record, the bonnethead includes seaweed in its diet.

As it slices through the water, the ominous silhouette sends fish scurrying for cover. The shark zeroes in on its prey and settles down for a nice meal of . . . grass. While the bonnethead shark doesn’t necessarily follow the “fish are friends, not food” philosophy, it does find value in veggies—seaweed, that is.

In addition to its diet of small marine invertebrates, the bonnethead dines on large servings of seagrass. Marine biologists have known this for years, but until recently they weren’t sure whether the shark actually digested the grass. Now they have discovered special enzymes in the shark’s gut that break down the plant matter for nutrition.

As the first omnivorous shark on record, the bonnethead is one creature on a lengthening list of plant-eating carnivores. Marine biologists note that, as both predator and grazer, this little shark is an important part of its ecosystem. It’s also a reminder that before sin entered the world all animals, even those that later became predators, were pure vegetarians, just as we’re told in Genesis.

Article was taken from Answers magazine, January–February, 2019, 19.