An orca killing a great white shark is filmed for the first time. VIDEO


By John

An international research group, following an expedition by the Shark Study Center – Scientific Institute of Massa Marittima, observed, filmed and documented the killing and predation of a great white shark by an orca for the first time in the world , in the waters of Mossel Bay, South Africa.

The results of the observations were published today in the African Journal of Marine Science. It was known that orcas are able to cooperate with each other to attack large prey such as sea lions, seals and even other whales, using real hunting strategies that combine strength with intelligence. But it is the first time that researchers have documented an attack on a great white shark by these mammals, in particular a specimen of orca known to scientists – who have been observing it in the area for some time – with the name of Starboard, a due to its collapsed dorsal fin.

«And for the first time – explains Primo Micarelli, Adjunct Professor at the University of Siena and Director of the Shark Study Center – Scientific Institute of Massa Marittima – we were able to document the attack of an orca which in just two minutes killed and extracted the liver, rich in lipids for its diet, from the large predatory fish, passing near the boat with a piece of liver in its mouth.”

Micarelli together with the Scientific Coordinator Francesca Romana Reinero and her team carried out the filming and observations from aboard the motorboat equipped for the expedition. «This sighting – explains Alison Towner, of the Department of Ichthyology of the University of Rhodes in South Africa – revealed the dynamics of solitary hunting by orcas, a behavior different from the conventional cooperative hunting strategies known in the region. These are revolutionary insights into the predatory behavior of this species.”

The presence of shark-hunting orcas, concludes Alison Towner, “could be linked to broader dynamics of rapid changes in the local ecosystem.”