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3 Reasons to Proclaim Orca Victory in Killer Whale vs. Great White Shark

May 3, 2017

We’ve got a confession to make.

Watching an Orca Whale fight a Great White Shark would probably be the greatest day of our lives. Not because of the violence and spectacle – no, of course not.

No, it would be amazing watching our orca friend completely dominate the scrap from start to finish.

Great White Shark and Killer Whale conflicts have been known to happen in the wild. Both predators often chase after the same prey, so disputes are inevitable. So who would win? Which beast would emerge victorious?

Just to be clear, we absolutely do not condone animal violence in the wild, even though it’s a necessary fact of marine life. And we abhor it especially in captivity, as anyone who reads this blog surely does.

But hey, we’re still curious.

1. Size
Advantage: Orca Whale

A male orca whale can grow up to 32 feet in length, while the puny Great White Shark only reaches a paltry 20 feet or so. Female orcas routinely reach lengths of 23 feet. There’s also a distinct difference in weight, as male Orcas can weigh up to nine tons while White Sharks top out at five tons. Pfft, what’s next?

2. Speed
Advantage: Orca Whale

If a Great White Shark wanted to beat a hasty retreat upon discovery of being grossly outmatched in the fight, it would have a tough time doing so. Orcas can reach speeds of over 48 km’s per hour, while a Great White Shark speedometer only goes to 24 km’s per hour. No speeding tickets in playground zones for these guys, while the Orca can swim faster than your parent’s old minivan.

3. Tactics
Advantage: Draw

Here’s where the water gets a little murky. Proclaiming this a victory for the orca too hastily would be irresponsible. Sure, transient Orcas hunt in organized packs to maximize the surprise ambush of their prey, but these numbers, despite their stealthiness, could give away the Killer’s position for a solitary Great White. Great Whites also possess an insatiable appetite that makes them the ocean’s largest predatory fish. These things will eat anything.

However, all that solitary angst counts for nothing if a pod of Orca Whales decides enough is enough and it’s time to defend their turf. Orcas have been spotted herding sharks into shallow water to make the eventual slaughter easier.

Decision in Killer Whale vs Great White Shark: Orca Wins!

If we can put our tongue-in-cheek bloodlust aside for a moment, it’s never easy watching animal on animal violence in the wild. It happens often – we follow a hungry pod of Orca Whales around the waters off the coast of British Columbia for a living after all – but that doesn’t mean we’ll ever get completely used to it.

That said, Orca Whales and Great Sharks compete for the same spot at the top of the food chain, and it’s precisely this food chain that makes perpetuation of the animal kingdom network possible.

In other words, it ain’t pretty, but that’s life!

…In the wild. That’s life in the wild.

Go Team Orca!



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