In a strange case of extremely picky eating, orcas off the coast of South Africa are killing great white sharks, but the killer whales are chowing down only on the sharks’ livers and, in some cases, their hearts, researchers say.
In a four-day period starting May 3, researchers found the bodies of three great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) that had washed ashore along South Africa’s Western Cape province. Saddened and mystified by the deaths, the researchers performed necropsies (animal autopsies) on all three.
No one saw the sharks’ last moments, but their injuries indicate that orcas, also known as killer whales (Orcinus orca), were the culprits, the researchers said.
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