The Eastern Pacific's "offshore" killer whales specialise in hunting sharks and bony fish, so the kill – though extraordinary to see – is actually quite normal. It will likely take some time before any of these questions are answered. Killer whales are killing great white sharks and eating their livers, according to a new report from the South African government. 's better-studied resident and transient orcas. The orca, or killer whale, has been observed attacking and eating the shark. For one thing, why are they smaller than other killer whales on the West Coast? ), Shark-eating orcas tend to hunt deep underwater, so footage like this can help us learn more about how a particular group disperses food. Not all Orca populations hunt sharks, but we now know that they can. But they usually avoid great … I am quite sure that a great white has killed a sickly orca or perhaps a calf if it was separated from its usually very protective mother. Shark-eating orcas tend to hunt deep underwater, so footage like this can help us learn more about how a particular group disperses food. And even for all-adult pods, passing around prey can be beneficial. These groups are fairly consistent, but not as much so as B.C. VIEW more from this CONTRIBUTOR. For example, fish‐eating killer whales studied in Canada selectively target the largest and most lipid‐rich species of salmon, despite the fact that other species are more abundant across their foraging grounds (Ford and Ellis 2006). The population is designated as threatened under Canada's Species at Risk Act, but Barrett-Lennard said their actual status is pretty unclear — as are the potential threats. It turns out that great white sharks aren’t always the hunter — the feared killers of the ocean are prey for orcas. The recent events shed new light on the orcas' taste for shark meat. Bethany Lindsay is a B.C. Are these killing the work of orca? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay. Setting up a planned study is nearly impossible when there's no telling where you might find the offshore orcas, but Barrett-Lennard has a long list of questions he'd like answered. But because of their huge range and preference for offshore waters, scientists just don't encounter these whales very often. Teeth extracted from an offshore killer whale that stranded in Alaska in 2015 showed significant damage, likely caused by eating sharks. Earth Touch is built on a simple philosophy: nature's stories should be told with passion and imagination. Offshores are often seen in large groups of up to 50 or 60 animals. shores, there swims a different sort of orca. The clip was captured by Slater Moore of Monterey Bay Whale Watch, who believes the prey species to be a sevengill shark (Notorynchus cepedianus). Amy B Wang. That’s especially true of our planet’s countless wild species: big and small, threatened and persecuted, complex and fascinating. The modified scales allow sharks to move seamlessly through the water, but for the whales who feed on them, they mean dental disaster. The whale's teeth were worn right down to the pulp, and the researchers suggested related tooth and gum diseases likely contributed to the animal's death. "We do know the population size is fairly small, but we don't know what the trend is," he said. Salmon-eating killer whales have been known to hold fish in their mouths so the youngest pod members can nibble away, and scientists have seen similar behaviour in seal-eaters. Killers: J pod on the brink is a CBC British Columbia original podcast about the Southern Resident Killer Whales, hosted by Gloria Macarenko. Barrett-Lennard said that while sightings of the offshores have always been few and far between, they've been especially rare in the last year or so. New research from Monterey Bay Aquarium and their partners published in Nature's Scientific Reports provides proof that great white shark has … Box 500 Station A Toronto, ON Canada, M5W 1E6. 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. Ensuring that every member of the hunting party is healthy helps secure meals for the group down the line. Shark skin causes a dental disaster for the offshore killer whales that feed on them. You can get it now for free at CBC Podcasts. It is the sixth of the seven Apex Predators living in Port Clovis. They are similar to us and other intelligent predatory mammals. Most of what we know about these whales is thanks to chance encounters or from necropsies of carcasses that wash up on shore. 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