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December 02, 2009

Cool Animal News: How Killer Whales "Karate Chop" Sharks

Since I was a kid, I read that killer whales somehow killed sharks by stunning them or something. Never got the details straight. I thought it was some kind of headbutt to the gut or something.

In fact, it turns out they raise their tails to the surface near a shark, which creates a vortex that whisks the shark up to the surface, where I guess it can't breathe or something. Then they pull their tails up clear out of the water and "chop" them, smashing down.

Okay, kind of cool. But the thing is, this wasn't the way I envisioned it as a kid. Because, okay, maybe this is a cool tactic, and maybe it means they're using their brains or something, but the killer whales seem to have another impressive advantage over their shark-victims:

They're about 3-5 times larger than the sharks they're hunting.

You know what other tactics work when you have that kind of size advantage? All other tactics. Including plainly stupid ones.

Hey, try brute force, too, guys. No real need to get all finesse-y when you're bullying a poor little shark you've got a good three bills on.

Remember when Mike Tyson beat the hell out of me last year? You know how did that? He out-thought me. He came ready with a plan and I didn't.

Also, he hit me once and it turned my brain into gray applesauce.

But that, and out-thinking me.

Ah, one more lie of youth dies. One more jewel of innocence cracked and shattered. What's left?

Thanks to rdbrewer.

Oh: I'm informed what the orcas do is flip the sharks over on their backs with that vortex-move, which somehow discombobulates their brains and puts them into a daze, and I'm also informed that male commenters are so over Meredith Baxter and now all over Dr. Ingrid Visser.



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posted by Ace at 08:45 PM

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