Great White Shark vs Killer Whale: The two deadliest sea titans are now waging war on each other.
September 6, 2019
An interesting article in the Daily Mirror discusses the war raging between Great White Sharks and Orcas aka. Killer Whales.
Scientists have long believed Orcas and Great Whites were at the top of the food chain. Their paths rarely seemed to cross and both were thought to be untouchable.
During the month of May the bodies of three Great Whites have washed up on African coastline beaches. This phenomenon is rare and even more rare – their livers had been removed with what scientists are calling “surgical like precision”.
This is an unmistakable calling card of Orcas. They hunt in large groups and eat upwards of 220kg of food per day!
The whales use their strong tails to create strong underwater currents that force the sharks to the surface. Once they have the shark in the perfect position they stun them with their attack.
The Great White’s fatty liver can weight more than 60kg and is rich in organic chemicals that make it a perfect food source for killer whales.
Scientists believe the Orcas may be attacking sharks because their food sources are shrinking due to climate change and pollution.
There are only two predators alive that are bigger than killer whales – the sperm whale and the giant squid.
These two giants are locked in an equally titanic struggle as sperm whales eat giant squid, often suffering horrendous scars from the squid’s tentacles as it lashes out in self-defense.
The Killer Whale
Length: Males can reach 9.5m (31ft) females can reach up to 8.5m (28ft). Their tails can measure 2.75m (9ft) from tip to tip
Weight: On average they weigh up to six tonnes, but the heaviest recorded was a huge 10 tonnes – the equivalent of 120 men.
Speed: Up to 30mph
Diet: Fish, mainly salmon, plus seals and sea lions, sharks and stingrays.
Deadliest feature: Killer whales hunt in groups of up to 40 and are smart enough to learn new ways of working together to take down their prey, allowing them to target almost any animal.
In Antarctica they have learned to make waves to wash seals off the ice into the water.
Most famous of species: Free Willy and Shamu
The Great White Shark
Length: The females are the biggest, growing up to 6m (20ft) long. Males can be up to 4m (12ft)
Weight: More than 2.25 tonnes – the equivalent of 30 men
Diet: Mainly fish, but they also hunt dolphins, seals, seal lions and occasionally sea turtles.
Deadliest feature: Great whites ambush their prey and have more than 300 razor sharp teeth that grow up to 5.7cm long. They are angled into the mouth to grab prey and tear off chunks of flesh.
Most famous of species: Jaws
Verdict: Despite the fact Great White Sharks have more terrifying teeth, the fact that Killer Whales are bigger, faster, and hunt in groups mean there is only one winner when these two top predators clash.