Orcas and white sharks are what we call apex predators of the ocean; this means they are on top of the food chain and continuously reigns supreme for millions of years now. So, when these two top predators meet in the ocean, it gathers a lot of interest among people on which one will come out on top. But are they really in for a fight? Or are we overthinking?
To get a general idea of what is about to happen to orca vs great white sharks, we will be focusing on some of their traits, features, and other notable attributes that can lead up to whoever wins this battle. Are you curious who gets to be on top? We’ll soon find out!
Orca vs Great White Sharks: Getting To Know Them
The Great White shark is the largest species of its kind in existence today. Their distinct grey coloration throughout their bodies and their white underbellies and dorsal fins are easily noticeable in the open water. They are considered the most dangerous marine creature on the planet as a testament to various shark attacks that lead to fatality in humans.
Thanks largely to their streamlined body and tails that can propel them at a bursting speed, they are also known to be agile and fast despite their intimidating size. They are mainly found in all waters across the globe and are known to be in large concentrations when a specific area is full of food sources.
On the other hand, orcas are one of the most recognizable marine creatures on the planet due to their black and white appearance. Like with great whites, they can be found in all waters in the world, from the equator down to the arctic. Orcas are commonly known as killer whales; it is the name given to them by sailors who witnessed them feeding on whales, hence the name.
When it comes to their weight, great whites can weigh as much as 5 tons in adulthood, whereas orcas dwarf them in size as they can go for 10 to 12 tons in maturity. On average, a great white shark can live up to 70 years of age, and orcas go for about 80 years. Furthermore, an adult great white shark can grow as much as 20 feet. On the other hand, an orca can grow as much as 32 feet.
When it comes to orca vs great white sharks, know that both of them are carnivorous creatures. Orcas primarily feed on seals, penguins, sea lions, sea otters, birds, and whales. Great white sharks are opportunistic predators and feed on dead whale carcasses, mollusks, small fish, sea lions, seals, crustaceans, and even small species of sharks. To summarize, they have a very similar source of food, and they thrive on meat.
Tale Of The Tape: Great Whites vs Killer Whales
Killer whales and great white sharks are two of the most fearsome predators of the ocean. When they go head to head, who do you think comes out on top? Is it the agile and dangerous shark? Or can orcas overpower them with their sheer size? Let’s compare their strengths and weaknesses.
First, let’s compare the two beasts of the ocean in terms of weight. As we’ve mentioned a while back, an adult great white shark can weigh as much as 5 tons, whereas an adult killer whale can weigh north of 10 tons. What this means is that an orca dwarfs great in terms of weight.
Second, we will be talking about their agility. A great white shark can go up to 35mph at full speed, thanks to its streamlined body and strong tails for propelling them to a great extent. On the other hand, orcas came close at 34mph at full speed. So despite their size, they are quiet on the same level as great whites.
Third, we will be comparing their bite force. This is because they primarily chomp down on their prey with an incredible bite force. Scientists have used a comprehensive method in which it was used to determine the bite force of a 21-foot great white shark, and the results are a staggering 4,000 PSI of bite force. Orcas may not look like it but comparing their bite force to a shark blows past them easily without any hitch. Thus, it is concluded that an adult orca has a whopping 19,000 PSI of bite force.
The fourth factor we will be taking into account is their endurance and stamina. When you are on top of the food chain and are considered one of the ocean's top predators, you need the endurance to scout out your prey and go for the kill without getting tired.
Orcas are known to possess otherworldly endurance, can dive to great depths of up to 3,500 feet, and can go for short bursts of up to 40mph. Great whites are on another level when it comes to their stamina. They can swim at their top speeds for durations like orcas but maintain it for longer periods.
Final Verdict: Who Wins The Battle?
There are still a lot of factors to consider when it comes to orca vs great white sharks. However, we are leaning towards the winner of this matchup to be the orcas. This is because even a small female orca dwarfs great whites in sheer size, orcas are also known to possess endurance for days, and their incredible bite force is not one to scoff at.
On the other hand, great whites possess various advantages such as having keen sense, agility, and stamina. However, when it comes to the true ocean king, orcas are far more superior than great whites. It is also studied that when orcas relocate to an area where seals are common, they drive away from great whites.
This reluctance to be on the same ground with orcas indicates that great white sharks possess some kind of fear when associated with orcas in a single area and aren’t highly keen on returning to these grounds whenever they encounter these superior kings of the ocean.
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