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Will the orca trump the great white?

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posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 05:00 PM
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I was watching a show last night about the orca miraculously overtaking great white in fights. This is very interesting since, of course, the great white are on top of the underwater food chain.

The orca overtake great white by possibly knocking them out and turning them upside down, which makes the great white experience something called tonic immobility:


Some sharks can be placed in a tonic immobility state. The shark remains in this state of paralysis for an average of fifteen minutes before it recovers. Scientists have exploited this phenomenon to study shark behaviour.[1] Usually when testing sharks under this "tonic" state, scientists will put a chemical plume in the water awakening the shark.

Sharks may not always respond to tonic immobility by physical inversion of the animal, as has been demonstrated with lemon and reef sharks. With tiger sharks 3-4 metres (10 to 15 feet) in length, tonic immobility may be achieved by placing hands lightly on the sides of the animal's snout approximate to the general area surrounding its eyes. Great White sharks have been shown to be not as responsive as other species whenever tonic immobility has been attempted. Scientists believe that tonic, displayed by sharks, may be linked with defence, because female sharks seem more responsive than others.[2] During tonic immobility, the dorsal fin(s) straighten, and both breathing and muscle contractions become more steady and relaxed.


On the show, a guy turned a shark (a reef shark, I think) upside down, and the shark immediately acted as if it was asleep. The show said that suffocation could result if tonic immobility was induced for too long of a period. The show not only showed footage of the orca winning against the great whites by getting the latter into tonic immobility, but it also showed orca handling stingrays by first getting them into tonic submission too. Thus, winning such fights against great whites cannot be attributed to luck - the orca somehow know what they are doing, making sure they get their dangerous prey into tonic immobility before dealing with them.

Interestingly, the show stated that, in two separate instance, after orca attacked great white in their yearly feeding waters, the great white, en masse, left this very valuable area. The great white were risking loosing a nice place to hunt in order to escape the orca.

We know that orca teach their offspring things, so this new technique could spread like wildfire within the future generations of orca. Could the great white have finally met their match? The food chain that we are all taught as children is not as concrete as we might think!

What are your thoughts?




posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 05:12 PM
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Awesome, here are two clips of the show I was referring to.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 05:23 PM
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Hi.

Killer whales are in fact divided into 3 separate groups which are a species on their own.

One of the 3 hunts and eats great whites. Only their liver tho.
I posted this in a thread a while ago.

You can find it here : Orcas are more than one species, gene study shows

My guess is that the trick to stun the shark came after they started eating it.
I mean, I've never heard that they doing something else that made them realize the stun thing.

Ohh... Orca's are the smartest, fastest, biggest and strongest predator out their and are in fact a species of dolphin.
Orca's Always cool



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 05:25 PM
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I may have seen the same show, Interesting to say the least. That trick of turning the shark upside down actually works with dogfish and bull huss too (theyre distant shark family members).

Orca's are amazing at hunting and you can clearly see their intelligence at work during a hunt. S&F




posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 05:27 PM
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Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
One of the 3 hunts and eats great whites. Only their liver tho.


Thanks for this!


My guess is that the trick to stun the shark came after they started eating it.


Not in this case, though. The great white, I believe, are already in tonic immobility before being eaten.

EDIT:


Originally posted by Catch_a_Fire
That trick of turning the shark upside down actually works with dogfish and bull huss too (theyre distant shark family members).


Yeah, many, but not all, sharks go into tonic immobility.

[edit on 8-6-2010 by they see ALL]



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 05:34 PM
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I've always heard that flipping a shark onto it's back "puts it to sleep."

And as a little kid, any time I'd catch a frog I'd flip it on its back and rub its belly, and the frog would be completely immobilized...

Orcas are giant masses of muscle, and they're smart, and they've been known to take down giant blue whales...

There aren't many videos of this type of stuff though



Edit; the videos talk about exactly what I mentioned, but make it out to be some kind of new revelation. They really almost stupefy the whales by putting so much human drama/aspect into it

[edit on 8-6-2010 by alaskan]



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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reply to post by they see ALL
 



Not in this case, though. The great white, I believe, are already in tonic immobility before being eaten.


Not what I was trying to say.

I meant that they first started eating the shark and through the course of gaining hunting experience, one of them must have figured this trick. As it immobilizes the shark.
It's not surprising they pass it on to others.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by alaskan
Edit; the videos talk about exactly what I mentioned, but make it out to be some kind of new revelation.


Thanks for embedding the videos into this thread! These are the ones in my link above. The actual process of tonic immobility may have been known for a while, but I am sure that seeing - and filming - an orca do it against a formidable opponent is an entirely new and shocking thing. Of course, though, the temptation to make a television show about this - in order to, among other things, make money - is always present
.


Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
I meant that they first started eating the shark and through the course of gaining hunting experience, one of them must have figured this trick. As it immobilizes the shark.
It's not surprising they pass it on to others.


Okay. Yup, these orcas are so smart!



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 06:38 PM
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Awesome. It could be argued that they now sit at #2 of the total earth food chain. For instance, there isn't a large of cat that travels world wide.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by IgnoranceIsntBlisss
Awesome. It could be argued that they now sit at #2 of the total earth food chain.


Yes. Like I said before, we were all taught about the food chain, and maybe we assume that it is something that never changes. This, however, is a great example of the food chain changing a bit (at lease in these instances when the orca and great white fight). To boot, who knows what the future will bring. The orca are smart, and the great white have shown their true colors - they are afraid of orca. It's all very interesting!



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