Orcas Eat a Great White Shark in Stunning Drone Video

What do coconuts, vending machines, and selfies have in common? They’re responsible for more deaths every year than sharks. And yet, shark attacks are high on the list of things people are afraid of. Great white sharks especially strike fear in many people. But it turns out that even they have something to be afraid of. Orcas in South Africa kill great white sharks just to eat their livers. And now there’s video of the dramatic event. Drone footage aired as part of Discovery’s Shark Week shows orcas feeding on a great white shark like the apex predator they are.

We first saw the dramatic footage on The Daily Beast. It’s part of the program “Shark House.” According to a recent study covered by Live Science, great white shark numbers in the Gansbaai area of coastal South Africa have plummeted since the orca pod starting killing them. There used to be a year-round presence of the sharks but now sightings are way down. Data from tagged sharks show them fleeing the area, sometimes not returning for months at a time. And it may just be two male orcas that are responsible for a shift in the entire ecosystem. Smaller sharks that are usually scared away by great whites have moved back into the area. Researchers are still collecting information and drone footage like this will help better understand the behavior.

Orcas eating a great white shark off the coast of South Africa, from the show Shark House
Discovery

Shark Week continues through July 31, 2022 on Discovery Channel, which can also be watched through Prime Video. There’s also National Geographic’s SharkFest, which includes three weeks of shows also available on Disney+. It also includes dramatic titles, like “Sky Sharks” about how drones are helping with research projects all over the world. Or “Shark Gangs” to cover the behavior that some sharks are social creatures.  

Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth. 

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Author: Melissa T. Miller