Orca vs Great white shark?

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Dr Lou Natic, Feb 22, 2003.

  1. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

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    I saw this topic go for 30 odd pages on a shark attack message board. Now I'm sure it won't go that long here, we aren't children after all, but I am interested in how you feel about the subject. Which animal would come out victorious in a natural encounter? For the sake of the argument we'll say that both animals are 20ft long(thats very big for the shark and not yet fully grown for the orca).
    I don't think there is any question as to which would win myself, but lay your thoughts on me

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  3. sycoindian myxomatosis> Registered Senior Member

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    hmmmm.. real interesting... id lay my money on the white shark (i assume ur referrin to the Great White)...

    a lotta factors come into play.. i've read reports about how a few dolphins are capable of seriously injurin a shark in a closed environment...

    id like to see this fight meself..

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    u sellin tickets yet..

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  5. Jaxom Tau Zero Registered Senior Member

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    Throw out some variables here...

    No doubt the orca is smarter, for what that's worth.

    The shark would probably be better in tracking the orca down for a surprise attack, if the orca is injured first.

    Orca uses sonar instead...might be an advantage if the water is murky.

    Sharks have one basic attack, grab and run.

    Orcas have various attacks, one of the deadliest is the tail, used a lot in packs to stun fish schools.

    Sounds like we're planning out a stupid Pokeman match.

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  7. BLASTOFF Registered Senior Member

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    the winner would be the orca, as great whites dont swim together, as they are lone preditors, but orcas swim in pods, and well if the shark has any sense then it would not attack a pod of orcas anyway.
     
  8. Cthulhu Banned Banned

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    I remember reading a book called Meg. The prehistoric Megalodon which was a species of giant great white shark is discovered under the thermocline of the Atlantic trench and unwittingly freed. It goes on a rampage of destruction. Threatening to upset the natural balance of ocean life by first eating whale populations and then moving on to other top marine life. It gives birth to three pups. The first is a groggy slow thing which is quickly eaten by its mother. The other two, a male and female, swim away more quickly. I bring this up because the future king of the ocean, the male offspring, gets chased down and devoured by a pod of Orcas before reaching full maturity. It's only about the size of a normal shark. To give you an idea of the size Megalodons grew to, one eats a Tyrannosaur Rex in the opening chapter.

    Todays sharks are nothing compared to an Orca. Orca's are smarter, bigger and stronger. Warm blooded to boot. They do routinely eat sharks. Great whites are the kings of fish but Orcas rule the ocean.
     
  9. SciAuthor Banned Banned

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  10. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah I've seen that video but I didn't need that to make my decision.
    Anyone who knows anything about both of these animals knows it is absolutely no contest, I thought more people would have been blindly voting shark on account of their reputation.
    A killer whale vs a great white shark is like a dinosaur sized gorilla vs a gorilla sized dinosaur. Even if they were the same size it wouldn't change a thing, killer whales are stronger, more likely to attack a shark than vice versa and are so much smarter its not even funny. A killer whale could probably trick a shark into eating itself if it wanted to.
    Great whites will try and eat baby killer whales if they get the chance but killer whales are one of the few animals on the earth that actively seek revenge(only cetaceans and the more advanced primates fathom this "revenge" concept).
    In the san francisco news archive there is a report of this revenge being carried out, a 15 foot great white shark was seen killing a baby orca by fishermen, the next day 200 miles away in san francisco bay , traffic backed up when the same 15 foot shark was seen flying through the air, the mother of the eaten baby had tracked the shark down and was beating the crap out of it in front of hundreds of spectators.
    In the account sciauthor mentioned it took the orca about 3 seconds to kill the shark, in this instance the orca took her time and threw the shark around for a couple of hours, eventually picking it up and thrashing it on the surface of the water until it was scattered hunks of meat.
    So yeah, great whites are massive scary things for us but to orca's they are just sushi that occasionally kills babies.
     
  11. Neville Registered Senior Member

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    Wow thats amazing SciAuthor!

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    I'd have gone for the Great White to win but it looks like Orcas have their own policing system.

    That was an interesting post too Dr.Lou.

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  12. SciAuthor Banned Banned

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    You are so right Doc. That report is however the first ever to document an Orca killing a shark for food. Normally they go for seals and fish(smaller fish). If really hungry a pack will take on a whale. One on each side clamp onto the jaw which forces the mouth open. Then one or two duck inside the mouth and take the tongue. Leaving the poor whale to a slow and painful death. Other times they will go for the lips which are also a delicacy.
    Seal football seems to be a popular pasttime but occasionally they get a taste of it themselves. Larger whales have been known to knock an Orca 15 feet through the air. Although members of the dolphin family I personally wouldn't swim with them. 'Flipper' they are not. There is no record of them ever having attacked people but when hungry enough they will eat almost anything. When I came across that article I remembered the thread here and decided to share it.

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    Remember this guy? Keiko from 'Free Willy'.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2003
  13. Neville Registered Senior Member

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    Which ones Keiko??

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    have you eve notices that when Killer Whales are captive the fin on their back tends to curl over. This is because they spend less time under the water and so gravity takes its toll. I think it actually effects their balance/awareness too!
     
  14. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, I think it also would have something to do with a lack of exercise for the fin. All cetaceans are born with flimsy fins, they get strengthened by swimming against currents and also by a generally large amount of movement. Captive orca's are in a stagnant pool and their movement is relatively limited, this would stunt the muscle growth and keep their fin weak(most captive orcas were born in captivity or taken very young).
    I imagine it would be a very frustrating way to live for a killer whale on account of there sonar pulse being bounced directly back at them from concrete walls. Wild killer whales have never been recorded to have attacked a human but it does occur occasionally in captivity. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often considering the circumstances.
    I agree with you sciauthor in that I wouldn't swim with a wild orca regardless of their perfect record. One thing that all scientists agree on is that the killer whale is very unpredictable.
    You mentioned their diet and the strange thing is their diet varies greatly from pod to pod. Alot like our diet would be different than that of a south american indians.
    There is a pod off the coast of south western canada that feeds exclusively on salmon, strangely their language is far more advanced than any other known pod, with about 3 times more distinct sounds. They stay in basically the same place year round and they are referred to as "resident" killer whales(there are 3 known types resident(stay in one place and usually consist of many members), transient(they move around alot and are usually in small groups or around 3 to 10) and offshore(they don't move around as much as transients but they are further out to sea than residents and they move around a bit more, they are usually in fairly large groups of about 20+).
    Various small transient pods frequently visit the patagonian coast of argentina(I think), these pods are less playfull and vocal than the canadian pod and they are very opportunistic feeders. They eat anything from seals(you might have seen them taking baby seals off the beach on tv) to whales to fish to whatever. The latest report saw them playing "frisbee" with stingrays.
    The thing is people know very little about orcas and other dolphins(despite the simpson's claims of dolphin's being "the most video-taped of earth's creatures"

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    ), I think they're fascinating and I want to know more.
     
  15. SciAuthor Banned Banned

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    I feel the same way. I've been reading up on them lately. My main interest is with Transient Orcas. Did you know that residents and transients are actually divergent species. They don't cross breed and are thought to have separated a long time ago. Transients eat a lot of squid and have much smaller pods. Typically about 3 members. If a baby arrives then an older sibling will leave to join another pod. This is because 3 is an ideal number. Good for stalking prey and trapping it. More than 3 and it becomes more difficult to surprise a target. If a member dies then a previous member may rejoin the group. When two pods that know each other come into contact after a long time they face off on each other in two lines. Kind of a greeting ritual. Then they merge. This involves a lot of touching and stroking. Orcas have incredibly sensitive skin and love to be stroked (don't we all?). Trainers in aquariums have reported better results by rewarding with a pat than with a fish. I can't imagine how lonely those captive creatures must be.
     
  16. Salsassin Registered Member

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    As one poster said, Steve Alten mentions a pod or Orcas killing a young Meg, but I wonder how a pod would have done with an adult? Haven't bottlenoses been quite effective in pods at keeping lone great whites at bay?
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Warm-blooded, lung-breathing vertebrates (birds and mammals) rule. They get more oxygen to their muscles and so they get more power out of them than true fish, cartilaginous fish (sharks, rays, eels, etc.), aquatic reptiles (turtles and the odd snake), or amphibians can do. They also get more oxygen to their brains and so they evolve bigger brains that are an advantage in a fight, other things being equal. A contest between a great white shark and a comparably sized porpoise (that's all an orca is) is no contest at all.

    Bears, otters, and sea birds find easy pickings in the water, with their superior strength, speed, and intelligence. Fully adapted marine mammals (seals) and birds (penguins) are at the top of the food chain for their size. The cetaceans (whales and dolpins), who can no longer spend time on land at all, were the rulers of the seas until man came along.

    It's been suggested that the ancestors of the cetaceans (riparian ungulates related to the hippopotamus) turned their back on a terrestrial life precisely because there was such a bounty of weak and dim-witted food swimming around in the ocean.

    The "aquatic ape" theory has been posted on SciForums several times. It's hypothesized that when our chimp-like ancestors first came down from the trees they proceeded directly to the nearest body of water. It was a whole lot easier to compete for food with the gill-breathing aquatic creatures than to try to share feeding grounds on the savannah with the giant herbivores and the predators who eat them. We still have those vestigial webs between our fingers and enough buoyancy to swim, neither of which are found in the other apes.
     
  18. BSFilter Nature has no kindess/illwill Registered Senior Member

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    Orca would win easily, hands down IF there was no luck involved.
    Orca still is heavily favored.
     
  19. sonleon Registered Member

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  20. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    The orca wins, because of its superior body mass. It's like putting a bull vs. dog. The dog has better teeth, but the bull has the advantage despite its dull horns.

    The same reason applies to the more extreme example in explaining why the lions don't mess with the elephants.
     
  21. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    One more thing : orcas can be quite sadistic when toying with their prey.
     
  22. topgaz Registered Member

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    Great Whites Win

    NO DISRESPECT.BUT SHARKS HAVE BEEN EVOLVING FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS.ORCAS ARE PACK HUNTERS.THEY CAN ONLY CAN SEALS BY BEACHING THEMSELVES.ORCAS GROW TO MASSIVE SIZES YOU CANT DISPUTE THAT.BUT THEY CANT HUNT WITHOUT THERE PACK.ALL PREDATORS HUNT USING THE ART OF SURPRISE.BUT A A SHARK POSSES MANY FORMS OF DETECTION UNLIKE A WHALE.AS TO THE VIDEO OF A ORCA KILLING A GREAT WHITE IT WAS A JUVENILE BUT FROM THAT VIDEO DOES IT REALLY PROVE ITS WAS A GREAT WHITE.A FULL GROWN 20 FT GREAT WHITE HAS THE ABILITY AND SPEED TO TAKE OUT AN ORCA IF IT REALLY WANTED TO AS DOES A FULL GROWN ORCA VICE VERSA.THERE REALLY IS NOTHING TO PROVE.BUT IF ORCAS WHERE HUNTED TO THE EXTENT THAT GREAT WHITES WHERE WOULD THER BE SUCH BIG ORCAS ROAMING THE OCEANS.YOU MUST REMEBER THAT GREAT WHITES USE TO REACH MASSIVE SIZES UNTIL TROPHY HUNTING STARTED AND AS SUCH,EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT A SCIENTIST,GREAT WHITES MAY HAVE REACHED EVEN BIGGER SIZES.ORCAS ARE IMPRESSIVE PREDATORS AND NO ONE CAN DENY THAT BUT FOR PURE PREDATORY INSTICNT AND SURVIVAUL THE SHARK RULES SUPREME.HAD THE LEGENDARY MEGLADON BEEN AROUND PEOPLE WOULD HAVE STILL MARVELLED AT THE GREAT WHITE.WHAT AN ANIMAL.WELL YOU MIGHT SAY WHAT ABOUT THE SPERM WHALE?WELL IT FEEDS ON THE GIANT SQUID WHICH NO ONE HAS REALLY EVER SEEN.I AM NO SCIENTIST OR EXPERT I AM JUST SAYING IT HOW I SEE IT.I THINK THE GREATEST PREDATOR ON EARTH IS THE GREAT WHITE MANY WILL SAY THE ORCA THE DEBATE IS WIDE OPEN I HOPE I HAVE MANY WELL REASONED REPLYS.GODBLESS YOU ALL GAZ..
     
  23. TW Scott Minister of Technology Registered Senior Member

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    Topgaz, you really think a 20 foot great white is going to do any better versus an adult Orca? That female tortured that 15 footer for hours. A tenty footer is not going to do any better. Sorry but the Shark loses the same way a whaling ship loses against a frigate.
     

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