A new video shows two adult killer whales and two calves tearing apart a live shark in astonishing footage.
A shocking new video that has gone viral shows offshore killer whales tearing apart a live shark in Monterey Bay off the coast of California. The footage, taken by drone pilot Slater Moore, shows two adults and two calves eating alive what appears to be a sevengill shark – a rare sight not just because offshore killer whales are tough to find, but because they are rarely seen eating as it is mostly done underwater.
The shark was about half the size of a full-grown sevengill, which can grow up to 10 feet, but it was still bigger than the calves and was quite a takedown for the group of killer whales. Offshore killer whales eat fish, sharks and squid, as opposed to the more commonly seen spotted killer whales that eat other mammals.
“It was still alive, it was squirming around,” said Katlyn Taylor, a marine biologist with the tour company Monterey Bay Whale Watch, who was quote in The Verge. “They’re kinda tricky animals to study. They hold their breath a long time, they swim really fast, they travel way offshore. That’s part of the fun though, you never know what’s going to happen.”
NOAA’s website states: “Offshores have the largest geographic range of any killer whale community in the northeastern Pacific and often occur 9 miles (15 km) or more offshore. But, they also visit coastal waters and occasionally enter protected inshore waters. Animals typically congregate in groups of 20-75 animals with occasional sightings of larger groups up to 200 whales. They are presumed to feed primarily on fish, though they have been documented feeding on sharks. Genetic analyses indicate that offshore killer whales are reproductively isolated from other forms of killer whales. Offshore killer whales are among the least observed and understood of all killer whale populations.”