“It’s like squeezing toothpaste,” explained Jorgensen, in reference to the cooperative bashing of sharks that the orcas engage in. The great white shark’s liver holds a high concentration of squalene, a steroid- and hormone-producing compound attractive to killer whales. Shark carcasses, which surfaced in 2017, showed orca-size wounds where the aggressive whales had apparently removed only the sharks’ livers. What is odd is that they would target great whites, especially because these sharks are such fearsome predators. “As hard as it is to say it, the killer whales are a step above.”. After learning about how orcas are eating great white sharks, read about groups of killer whales attacking Alaskan fishing boats. The killer whales bite a large slit in the side of the great whites after attacking as a pair and then suck out the 600lb fatty liver, spurning … The scientific community has since begun to assess this phenomenon with more serious, large-scale analyses. Analysis of white shark livers in particular shows an extremely high total lipid content, dominated by triacylglycerols (>93%). Two decades later, the beached corpses of five great white sharks appeared in South Africa. Kentucky Inmates Who Escaped Jail By Hiding In Trash Cans Have Been Captured Just 48 Hours After Their Escape, Calvin Klein Perfume Could Be The Key To Taking Down A Man-Eating Tigress That Has Killed 13 People In India, What Stephen Hawking Thinks Threatens Humankind The Most, 27 Raw Images Of When Punk Ruled New York, Join The All That's Interesting Weekly Dispatch, Dyer Island Conservation Trust / Marine Dynamics. Squalene is shark liver oil and shark livers are filled with it, along with other tasty nutrients that orcas apparently love. Sharks’ livers have very high concentrations of oil and fats. According to a new study, killer whales terrify great whites because they brutally hunt and disembowel them for their livers. A pod of orcas traveling together, likely scaring off nearby sharks. Dyer Island Conservation Trust / Marine DynamicsOne of the five carcasses calculatedly massacred by the orcas. The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary — a refuge for marine and wildlife off the California coast — provided the perfect site to observe the predators and their behavior. The reason they target the liver (and they do it with surgical precision) is because it contains large amounts of a compound called squalene. Sharks’ livers have very high concentrations of oil and fats. It has become one of the foremost killers in the sea. How do sharks react to Orcas? All of their livers were missing — with nearly surgical precision, and mystifying accuracy. In previous instances, the whales opted for the sharks’ livers. However, years that included orca appearances — 2009, 2001, and 2013 — saw that number drop by 62 percent from their previous years. Orcas can grow 30 feet or longer where great whites top out at 20 feet long or just over that. The shark liver is rich with a squalene, which is very nutritive. “It turns out these risk effects are very strong even for large predators like white sharks — strong enough to redirect their hunting activity to less preferred but safer areas.”. Sometimes, these beasts wash up ashore with their bodies ravaged. PixabayA pod of orcas traveling together, likely scaring off nearby sharks. There were no bites anywhere else on the body, indicating that the killer whale (or whales) had likely pulled on the pectoral fins to open up the body cavity, to remove the liver. In October 1997, tourists in a whale-watching boat off the Farallon Islands, near San Francisco, witnessed two killer whales attack a great white shark and consume its liver. The mutilated carcass of a great white washed ashore near Gansbaai, South Africa. There are documented accounts of killer whales targeting sharks that date back decades. And in case you’re worried about your own safety, killer whales and great whites alike rarely attack humans. Senior research scientist, Salvador Jorgensen at the Monterey Bay Aquarium,
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