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Do Orcas Hunt Great White Sharks? Here’s the Answer to Those Viral Social Media Videos

You shouldn’t trust everything you see on social media. Plenty of misinformation exists in a world where clicks and reshares help build brands. One popular video shows a killer whale hunting one of the deadliest hunters in the ocean. So, do orcas hunt great white sharks? 

In short, yes.

Check out a recent share on social media:

In this video, it’s hard to see the prey, and some question if it’s a shark. However, there are better videos out there that show the situation more clearly.

Watch this aerial footage capturing orcas in the act:

The video shows multiple incidents of great whites encountering orcas and how it usually ends poorly for the sharks.

The footage helped researchers better understand the two apex predators. In 2022, a research paper used this video to share more about the two species. Before this documentation, there were only three recorded incidents of orcas hunting white sharks that researchers cited.

From the drone video, scientists say that not only do orcas hunt white sharks as an opportunity for food, but they also use a planned attack to kill the great white. Much like when orcas go after a seal, the orcas come from below and push the shark to the surface. Later, when researchers checked the scene, they found no remains of the sharks.

Orcas Hunting Great White Sharks

Despite both animals being some of the most powerful in the ocean, the intelligence level of orcas proved to be no match for the sharks. 

It doesn’t end there. Male orcas can grow to be 27 feet long and weigh over 13,000 pounds. With white sharks, the female is often larger and, on average, gets to about 15 to 16 feet. Orcas also have a way stronger bite force than great whites. Unlike white sharks that do occasionally attack humans, there are almost no documented incidents in the wild with orcas

So, it’s not much competition when orcas hunt great white sharks. 

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