The Great White Shark is a top predator of the sea, but right now, in South Africa, they are getting literally mutilated by another apex predator: The Orca.
Two specific Orcas are suspected of coordinating a series of precision strikes. For the fourth time in 2 months, a Great White has washed up on a stretch of beach in South Africa with a few of its organs removed, while the rest of the carcass is left alone. Autopsies revealed that the orcas had been specifically tearing out and probably eating only the livers and hearts of the sharks. The latest attack switched things up in a somewhat eerie way: the shark's liver, stomach and testes were specifically removed.
These orcas specific behavior may suggest a couple of tough-guy orcas are trying to clear the neighborhood out of its previous top killers. Sport divers all over the area have reported a huge decrease of sharks in the area, an area known for its shark cage diving. When one of these attacks happens, the cage divers are reporting that no other sharks can be found, despite how abundant they are normally, according to the Marine Dynamics Facebook post. It seems like the sharks are running, or swimming, scared.
Orcas are known as tough animals, but Great Whites are Great Whites; perhaps the most widely known apex predator of the sea and one of the most feared animals on earth. How could this be happening? Orcas are some of the most incredible animals on earth. They are huge, with males growing up to 31 feet long and weighing more than a monster truck. They are also incredibly smart. They have the second largest brains among mammals (the Blue Whale has the largest), weighing in at 15 pounds. For comparison, an average human brain weighs about 5 pounds. Scientist believe they are quite clever. When they are not disemboweling sharks, they are usually eating anything and everything found in the world's ocean, like seals and octopuses, rays and even seabirds on occasion. They so widely distributed that their diets are as diverse as any mammal on earth. Rare though, do they bother with the vicious Great Whites. Scientist are still puzzling over why yet as they continue to study the cases. What scientists are saying is that this is unlike any behavior anyone has observed in orcas before.
Hopefully one day soon we will find out, until then we'll be waiting for further study by Marine Dynamics and The Dyer Island Conservation Trust.
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