WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Autopsies of six great white shark bodies revealed that killer whales may have ripped them open.
- The sharks were attacked in a “precise and refined way” to get their internal organs.
- Two killer whales off the South African coast may be responsible for the attacks.
You’d think that the great white shark may be the top predator of the sea, but it seems that’s not always the case.
Six bodies of great whites have washed up on the coast of South Africa over the past few years. Results of autopsies show that these sharks were attacked by killer whales to get to their nutrient-rich organs.
Marine expert Alison Towner assisted in performing the post-mortems on the six sharks that washed up on Gansbaai.
On the YouTube channel Shark Talk, hosted by Gemma Care, Towner said orca pods “physically ripped open” the area right below the sharks’ throats in a “precise and refined” way in order for the organs to slip out.
The autopsies took hours, Towner saying the team meticulously took measurements from different parts of the shark. They also checked for signs of trauma like boat or fishing line injuries that could be discounted as orca predation. Though a shark carcass with its liver ripped out is pretty obvious.
Since 2017, reports of several species of sharks being attacked by killer whales off the South African coast were eventually linked to two killer whales in the area. Attacks on the great whites were similar to attacks on seven gill sharks in the same area. Towner said that two of the animals had their hearts removed and another male was missing his testes. This is probably because the organs are “very close there in the body cavity.”
The two killer whales were likely learning to get a hold of the pectoral fins, though Towner’s not certain. The whales performed a ripping motion so the liver would “naturally slide out” so the orcas can share it.
Source: New York Post