The popular belief is that sharks are top predators, and it is true that they can prey on any marine organism they wish, but have you ever wondered if sharks are also being preyed upon? It is no secret that large species of sharks feed on smaller and weaker species, but do they fear any other marine animals? Well, it is necessary to maintain some balance, what do you think?
If you aren’t sure of this, let’s continue to read this article and get yourself informed about what are the predators of sharks.
Do sharks have predators?
As previously said, sharks are considered the top predators; then how come we have predators of sharks?
It is humans who pose the greatest threat to sharks. Check out the numbers of how many sharks are killed a year, and you will know.
Aside from that, there are marine animals too that sharks are afraid of, such as killer whales.
So, it clears the confusion that sharks have predators or not. So let’s move on, and see what animals can take on the giant sharks.
What are sharks’ biggest predators?
With over 500 species, sharks have been ruling the world of oceans for centuries, but they are not untouchable. No matter how giant or powerful a shark is, there are a few marine animals giving a tough competition to sharks.
A great white shark, for example, is considered to be the top predator, but it isn’t anymore.
With that said, sharks are important not only for us but for the health of blue oceans as well. Keeping a marine life balance, they help maintain the eco-structure by having an effect on the food web. Besides, sharks are vital for boosting economic activity and enhancing eco-tourism.
Moving forward, sharks are being on the target, too, and there are marine animals that can attack and kill sharks within no time. While sharks are taken as aggressive predators, let’s have a look at such animals that can prey on sharks.
If you think of top ocean predators, you probably picture sharks, and Great white sharks in particular, but the real king of the sea is the orca or also famously known as the killer whale.
One of the first incidents reported in 1997 took place in the Farallon Islands, near San Francisco, when tourists on a whale-watching boat witnessed two killer whales attacking a great white shark and eating its liver.
Some orcas propel their prey to the bottom, then strike them with overhead tail jabs, using a combination of brain power and brutal strength. Some orcas have figured out that they can make sharks paralyzed by holding them upside-down and killing them in strange ways. Check out what happens when the shark is upside-down.
Their hunting techniques are beyond belief, and sharks definitely cannot stand out. From the powerful great white shark to the fastest mako shark, no species can compete when it comes to fighting with orcas. Even the great white can be torn apart by orcas.
A killer shark typically approaches its prey in groups and attacks both sides. By doing this, the prey is unable to escape, and the killer shark is able to tear the victim apart.
In light of this, Orcas take the role of top predators since they don’t have any natural predators.
Killer whales are easily identifiable by a black-and-white pattern on their bodies. They are found throughout the world’s oceans.
Other predators of sharks
While killer sharks take the top spot, there are a few other animals that take the number when it comes to listing the predators of sharks. That includes sea lions, large fishes, crocodiles, and octopuses. However, these animals hardly attack large size and powerful sharks. Furthermore, large sharks also attack the smaller and weak sharks, so this counts as well.
Do you know sharks are frightened of dolphins? If not, find out here why sharks are afraid of dolphins. Also, check out the 15 facts here about sharks.
Although sharks are considered top predators, killer sharks are mainly the ones who hunt them. The presence of killer whales is enough to scare the sharks away, let alone withstanding their attack.
Moving forward, orcas do not kill as many sharks as humans do. So the real threat to sharks is from us and not the other marine life. Fins, skin, meat, and oil: sharks are hunted for a number of reasons. However, if all sharks were to become extinct, it would be disastrous for the marine environment.