Video captures stunning moment of orca killing great white shark

Why experts say this is 'probably an anomaly'

ByJanai Norman ABCNews logo
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Video captures stunning moment orca takes down great white shark
It's the jaw-dropping image of jaws - a great white shark - going from predator to prey

A stunning wildlife moment was caught on camera. It's the jaw-dropping image of jaws going from predator to prey as an orca takes down a great white shark.

The video is of Sophia - a 60-year-old grandmother orca - in incredibly rare footage, showing exactly why they are called killer whales.

It comes from part of the National Geographic limited series, "Queens."

"Orca are very smart animals," said Dr. Chris Lowe. "They're very powerful and, in some cases, probably even more powerful than a white shark."

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The stunning video coincides with what scientists believe is the first time a single orca was captured on camera killing a great white shark.

"I think what we're seeing is, is probably an anomaly. I don't think it happens that often," Dr. Lowe said. "We often think of white sharks as being the top predator in the ocean when actually orca are."

The massive animals that can grow to nearly 30 feet long and weigh some six tons are also highly social, typically living and hunting in pods, working together to catch prey. Scientists believe an orca hunting as a lone wolf could be an adaptation caused by climate change.

This is not the first time killer whales have been seen getting aggressive. The apex predators have been captured on video attacking boats off the coasts of places, like Portugal and Morocco last year.

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An orca off the coast of Gibraltar even ripped the rudder off a catamaran with its teeth.

"It probably does have something to do with behaviors and how they interact with these objects," Dr. Lowe said. "Whether they're, you know, bumping those to just being a nuisance, which is very different from attacking and killing something that you're going to get food out of."

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