Killer Whale vs Great White Shark
Both the killer whale and the great white shark are apex predators, and have no real natural enemies. They are enormous creatures that can eat almost anything they want in the sea, both have huge teeth and jaws, and neither seem to show much mercy when killing. That's where the similarities end, however. These two creatures are very different in their hunting methods and social behavior. The purpose of this hub is to deduce what would happen in a fight between a killer whale and a great white shark, but it is also to explore the difference between the two creatures.
If you're interested in which titanic beast would spill more blood, then read on!
The Killer Whale
The killer whale, also known as the orca, is one of the largest mammal predators in the world. It is able to reach a weight of over 6.5 tons, which is about the same size as a bush elephant. Because of its massive size, the whale has no natural predators.
Since killer whales hunt in packs, they are able to take down essentially any prey in the ocean. Even the mighty blue whale has fallen before the the orca, although the one that was killed was only about sixty feet long; blue whales can get to about one-hundred feet long. That said, it still shows the capabilities of a pod of orcas.
Being a pod animal, the orca is highly social and playful creature. The killer whale will often play with its food, throwing it into the air with its snout or tail. The reason behind this behavior is unknown, but some believe it is just playing around or training for additional hunts. Killer whales have also been known to let their prey go after they are done playing with it.
There have been no recorded attacks of killer whales on humans in the wild. The reasoning behind this is also unknown, although it is likely a combination of the whale's curiosity toward humans and the fact that they rarely come in contact with each other. While there have been no recorded attacks, it is still advisable for people to not swim with killer whales as they are massive creatures that are capable of killing a human entirely by accident.
Offensively, the killer whale has a large jaw and several rows of cony teeth. It is not able to take huge chunks out of its prey, at least relative to its size, but it can still deal a ton of damage. Its incredible power also allows it to use its body as a weapon, ramming into other whales to stun or even drown them.
Defensively, the whale has thick blubber that allows it to take a great deal of punishment before retiring. It's also one of the fastest and most agile things in the ocean.
Sonar acts as both an offensive and defensive weapon, as it allows the whale to know where the shark is at all times. The odds of a great white sneaking up on a killer whale are very slim.
The Greate White Shark
The great white shark is smaller than the killer whale, although its length is somewhat comparable. Its weight, however, is significantly less than the killer whales in that it only carries around about two tons. This means that it weighs about three times less than the killer whale, if not more. While this isn't necessarily a huge disadvantage, as the killer whale is able to take down much larger prey, it is worth noting.
The great white is an ambush hunter that prefers to attack its prey from below. It is capable of great bursts of speed, but is unable to maintain it for as long as a killer whale, since it is not a warm blooded creature. That said, the shark commands a great amount of power and has a huge set of jaws, which are comparable to the killer whale's. Its teeth are sharper and more serrated, which make them more efficient at ripping apart flesh.
Great white sharks are a fair threat to humans, as they are known for attacking them unlike killer whales. While they don't make up the bulk of human shark attacks, they still contribute a fair amount and should never be swam with unless the diver is wearing protective gear. Even then it is very dangerous as these creatures can compress a human's chest cavity with a single bite - something that can also break limbs.
Offensively, the shark has massive jaws and is able to move in bursts of great speed. It is a powerful creature, but not as strong as the killer whale as it is smaller. Its endurance also isn't as high, but that shouldn't matter in this type of fight.
Defensively, the shark is incredibly difficult to kill (more so than even the orca.) Its hide is also very tough, giving it a sort of armor plating. Unlike the marine mammals that a lot of orcas like to hunt, the great white does not have to breathe and can dive deeper into the water than the orcas can. If attack, it may be able to escape into the depths of the ocean.
The shark has an additional sense that allows it to sense the electromagnetic field around organisms. This means that the orca won't be able to sneak up on it; likewise, it cannot sneak up on the killer whale.
Killer Whale vs Great White on Tape
The killer whale would win this fight significantly more than it would lose it. This is mainly due to its massive size advantage, which lends itself to increased power and endurance. The whale is able to deal a killing blow to the shark more easily than the shark is able to deal to the whale.
I do think a great white would have a good chance against an adolescent orca, but a full grown whale would defeat the shark 9/10 times, if not more. This is a very difficult fight for the great white.
You can see an orca killing a great white shark in the video above. It does it with relative ease.