Scientists have received evidence of their theory, which explains the reason for the disappearance of white sharks off the coast South Africa.
Using a drone, scientists from South Africa for the first time captured on video the fact of an attack by killer whales on an almost 3-meter white shark in the ocean near the capital of the South African state, Cape Town. Killer whales not only attacked the white shark, but also tore it apart, while eating its most nutritious organ – the liver, according to the Daily Mail.
Since 2017, scientists from South Africa have recorded cases of killer whale attacks on white sharks. Some shark carcasses washed ashore during this time, but scientists believe that many shark remains rest on the seabed. Scientists have previously suggested that killer whales of a special kind are perpetrating attacks on sharks, as Focus already wrote.
They singled out two representatives of killer whales, which they suspected of serial killings of great white sharks. These killer whales not only killed sharks, but also ate their livers and sometimes even their hearts. The liver is considered a favorite organ of killer whales, which can prey on white sharks. But now scientists believe killer whale attacks on white sharks are one of the reasons that these fish disappeared from the sea region near the capital of South Africa, Cape Town.
Orcas killed and ate a great white shark
In a video posted on Instagram by South African biologist Alison Towner, three killer whales surrounded a great white shark, one of them attacked the fish and tore out its liver. Two other killer whales watch as the blue waters of the ocean turn blood red. According to Towner, the drone captured one of nature's most incredible moments on video.
White sharks have often appeared off the coast of South Africa and have established their permanent habitats here, since this region has a huge population of Cape fur seals. And for white sharks, these animals are the main delicacy.
But since 2019, scientists have recorded white sharks migrating away from this sea region. We can say that they have practically disappeared and they are very rarely seen here.
According to Towner, it would seem that a white shark, the famous marine predator, could prevail over killer whales, but still these fish are not as dodgy and smaller than the whales, which killer whales sometimes try to attack. By the way, Focus already wrote that for the first time in history, scientists have recorded the fact that killer whales kill a huge adult blue whale.
“We believe that climate change, ocean pollution and, of course, killer whale attacks have led leading to the extinction of white sharks in the region,” says Towner.
According to scientists, the fact that killer whales began to attack white sharks often indicates that the population of other food has declined, which is also associated with climate change and rising ocean temperatures.
“We found that killer whales prey on young white sharks, and this will further affect the development of an already vulnerable population of these predatory fish. Sharks are caught as part of the fishing industry, they are destroyed so that they do not interfere with people resting here, and now they are being killed more and killer whales,” says Towner.
Orcas and white sharks
- Orcas can reach a length of 5 to 8 meters, the speed of their movement in the water reaches 55 km/h. They can weigh up to 6 tons and live for 100 years.
- White sharks can reach a length of 3 to 6.5 meters, their speed in the water is 57 km/h. They can weigh up to 2.5 tons and live for 70 years.