Only Animal Makes Great White Sharks Tremble in Fear
when it comes to ruling the sea bigger isn’t always better. surprisingly some of the largest ocean creatures aren’t dangerous at all. the blue whale is the largest animal on the planet weighing as many as 33 elephants and all it eats is krill and the whale shark despite its menacing name and 40-foot length only eats plankton and small fish. so what does it really take to be at the top of the ocean’s food chain? specialized hunting skills, a ferocious appetite and few if any natural predators. oh, and sharp teeth don’t hurt either. when you think of the top ocean predators you probably think of sharks that’s wrong the true ruler of the sea is the killer whale surprisingly they’re not whales they’re dolphins. it’s hard to believe that a cute animal like a dolphin is ruling the ocean.anyway, we’re going to explain this, killer whales are apex predators. which means they have no natural predators they hunt in packs much like wolves. which are also at the top of their food chain.
most often come across resident killer whales that feed predominantly on salmon. but we occasionally spot transient orcas which eat everything from fish to seals to sharks and even other whales gluttonous things. if you have any doubt about the killer whale’s apex status consider wildlife watchers off the coast of California who witnessed an orca attacking a great white shark. of course, the orca won no contest interactions between the two types do not end well for the shark. in 1997 the first recorded interaction between a great white and orca was documented. two orcas killed a great white shark and ate its liver. removing the liver and leaving the rest of the body is quite consistent behaviour for orcas.

In 2017 five great whites washed ashore in South Africa with similar signs. The livers had been removed with incredible precision and orcas are believed the most likely culprit. it’s absolutely terrifying orcas are highly intelligent animals and work in groups when they hunt their very presence even when brief can have a huge impact on the surrounding ecosystem. when the great white sharks flee and do not hunt in an area for up to a year the numbers of their prey do not decline as they normally would. which affects other areas of the ecosystem in turn it seems that orca whales can be considered the true apex predator of the ocean.

why are orcas called killer whales?

Dolphins and whales are closely related orcas were given the name killer whale by ancient sailors observations of groups of orcas hunting and preying on larger whale species. they called orcas baleia assassina (Portuguese), or assassin whale, whale killer a term that was eventually flipped around to the easier killer whale. a lot of cultures have less than savoury names for orcas, such as:

  • spækhugger (Norwegian), meaning blubber chopper;
  • baleia assassina (Portuguese), or assassin whale;
  • mörderwal (German), also translated to murder whale;
  • polossatik (Aleut), meaning the feared one.
their Latin name or sinus orca also reflects this observation of orcas feeding on large whales or sinus means of the kingdom of the dead. an orca refers to a kind of whale, we know that orcas are top predators, but not the vicious whale killer that the ancient mariners thought them to be. killer whales look cute and have a friendlier image than great white sharks perhaps because of their respective portrayals in movies jaws too even begins with the beached carcass of a half-eaten orca.
we mentioned a lot about the great white sharks. so let’s take a look at them too. they can smell a single drop of blood floating in 10 billion drops of water they can detect movement from as far away as 820 feet and with powerful streamlined bodies and razor-sharp teeth, great white sharks are as scary as it gets. but don’t worry they generally don’t eat people and most attacks on humans aren’t fatal. anyway, nevertheless I recommend you to be sure that you’re not bleeding if you’re gonna get in the ocean. great white sharks prefer to Hunt sea lions, seals, dolphins, small toothed whales, sea turtles, sea birds and even the rotting flesh of dead animals. they can reach speeds of 43 miles 69 kilometres per hour. which allows them to surprise their prey and subdue it with a single bite. great white sharks can even leave the water completely breaching like whales. when attacking prey from underneath.
orcas will work together to catch larger prey or groups of prey such as schools of fish. it’s difficult to imagine the voracious and predatory great white shark as prey could orcas really be overpowering them and removing their livers. in 2017 the bodies of five great white sharks washed up on the beaches of South Africa’s Western Cape Province the bodies ranged in size from nine feet to 16 feet but each had large sets of puncture marks near the pectoral fins. the murderer of these sharks knew exactly where to bite to get what they wanted. each of the Sharks was missing their liver. clearly, something even more formidable had been preying on them. scientists determined then that only one other predator could pose such a danger to these killing machines. indeed the evidence was in their name the killer whale. orcas are also apex predators and they can rival even the great white for their brutal killing efficiency orcas seemed to have developed a way to take on the great white safely. in 1997 an Orca was seen ramming into a great white shark off the coast of San Francisco the force of the blow stunned the shark and allowed the Orca to flip the great white over and hold it in that position sharks are susceptible to something called tonic immobility. when they are held upside down in the water sharks become paralyzed because they require water to move across their gills while they swim to breathe. so the Orca was essentially able to drown the shark before feeding on it. orcas are exceptionally intelligent animals and can even coordinate hunting behaviour in packs like wolves. they’ve proven that they can easily disarm a great white in an attack.

why killer whales attack sharks?

killer whales are a step above large predators. like the Orca tend to go after prey animals that have a lot of rich fat on their body. which means that most of the shark is unappealing as a meal certain parts of a shark, however, are appealing to killer whales. in each of the documented attacks, the orcas have made extremely precise bites on the sharks primarily they target the livers stomachs and testes of the Sharks and this might actually explain what’s going on. shark’s livers have very high concentrations of oil and fats. they are also very large compared to other animals. this potentially makes a great whites liver one of the best sources of quick energy in the ocean. orcas seemed to have learned this and are targeting sharks specifically for their nutrient-rich livers. there are documented accounts of killer whales targeting sharks that date back decades. it’s possible even that great whites may have been part of the killer whales diet well before then.
but the rising frequency of the attacks is a new development some scientists suggest that the answer could be the changes in the relative ranges of the animals. shark populations have been growing due to restrictions on fishing global warming is expanding the geographical areas these sharks can live in so sharks and killer whales may simply be sharing the water nearby more often. more gravely it could be that killer whales are running out of their usual source of nutrition and are instead turning to great whites as an alternative meal. the good news for sharks is that they seem to be learning to adjust to the threat. sharks have been seen leaving areas when they know that there are killer whales nearby.
Here are some funny comments that I came across when I was researching the topic.
Imagine being a shark flipped over by orcas and one of them says “get the liver”

Great white sharks: “I’m the most feared predator in the seas”
Killer whale: “hold your liver”



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here