What other mammal is capable of diving 3,000 feet deep? Kim Juniper, NEPTUNE associate science director, consulted marine mammal experts at Fisheries and Oceans and Oregon State University about Dudko's query and concluded the predator was a female northern elephant seal.
"They're not so much a diving seal as a surfacing seal. They spend 90 percent of their time under the water," Juniper told Times Colonist.
And Dudko was the first person to ever see one eat a hagfish.
For a fish that can "secrete so much slime that it turns water in a five-gallon bucket into jelly," reported Juniper, how a seal might eat one has been a mystery. "Now we know she didn't bite or chew, she inhaled it," Juniper said. "She created a low-pressure vacuum around her mouth."
And instead of using her whiskers to find the fish, Juniper says the video shows the seal looks to have used the lights from the camera, which are turned on for five minutes every two hours.
Dudko told the Times Colonist that he wants to turn his hobby into a career as a marine biologist. "I spend a lot of time watching the NEPTUNE video feeds because I think that the underwater world keeps so many secrets and now it is possible for me to observe the life of its inhabitants online. It is really exciting."