Study Reveals the Great White Sharks Are Spooked of Killer Whales

Study Reveals the Great White Sharks Are Spooked of Killer Whales

Science

Scientists call the great white shark as king of the ocean, but it might not be the top predator. It seems like one of the most horrific predators in the sea may have a fear of its own. A new study reveals that whales are scaring off the scariest beast in the ocean. In the finding, published on Tuesday in Nature, scientists discovered that white sharks were afraid of killer whales. When Orcas arrived at a marine sanctuary near San Francisco, the sharks went away from the place. They did not re-visited the area for roughly around a year, even after the killer whales left the place.

Salvador Jorgensen, senior research scientist and leading author of the study, said when faced by orcas, white sharks will automatically leave their selected hunting place. In fact, they will not return for up to a year, even though the killer whales pass through the passage. Thus it is clear that the great white sharks feel danger whenever they detect the presence of orcas. The team used data gathered from two sources. Firstly, the arrival and departure of 165 great white sharks, tagged with a global navigation satellite system, between 2006-2013. Secondly, data collected, by Point Blue Conservation Science, on the population of orcas, seals, and sharks.

The reach a conclusion, the team documented a series of a fight between the top sea beasts in the Greater Farallon National Marine Sanctuary. Jim Tietz, a study co-author, said the robust data sources assisted scientists to reveal how sharks swiftly clear out the area when orcas show up. Minutes after killer whales emerged to eat elephant seals; scientists said white sharks started swimming offshore. They started grouping at other seal colonies far away from the territory. The study also found that elephant seals reaped benefits from the move. The seals experienced four to seven times fewer attacks in the years’ white sharks ran away. Scientists point that these are eighteen feet long giant white sharks which usually rule the roost here. Still, it is unclear what is the exact reason behind the sudden departure of sharks.

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