A new study has found that the deadly sharks are now so scared of killer whales that they’ve been fleeing the west coast of the US in droves whenever the giant predators are nearby.
The research, published in Scientific Reports, involved scientists tracking 17 sharks off the coast of California.
They observed that great white sharks would quickly leave locations that killer whales had arrived in, even if the whales were only there for a short space of time and did not harm any sharks.
The scared sharks would then not be seen in the same locations for the rest of the season.
Researchers believe that a rare incident in 1997 when killer whales killed sharks off the coast of San Francisco and devoured their oil-rich livers could be to linked to the disappearing sharks.
In 2017, five dead great white sharks washed up on a beach in South Africa and all of them were missing their livers.
A group of whales nearby were thought to be responsible and the bite marks on the sharks showed that the whales had been skillful and precise in the liver extraction.
It is thought that the killer whales bite their shark victims near their pectoral fins and then squeeze their livers out of the wounds.
“It’s like squeezing toothpaste,” Salvador Jorgensen, a scientist at Monterey Bay Aquarium and a co-author of the study, told The Atlantic monthly.
Shark livers are said to be one of the richest sources of calories in the sea.
They’re a great source of nutrition for Killer Whales – though scientists don’t know how they got a taste for the organs.
n other marine animal news, rare footage of ‘genius’ dolphins has revealed how they use hundreds of sounds to ‘talk’ to each other.
Just last year, scientists discovered a brand new half-whale, half-dolphin species dubbed the “wolphin” near Hawaii.
Another study also recently revealed that female dolphins may have better sex than human women – thanks to their well-placed clitorises.