Yes killer whales are known to hunt and consume shark meat when they are having difficulty finding other less defensible prey.
In fact killer whales have also been known to hunt variety of marine mammals including some of the biggest known whales.
Depending on where the killer whale lives its diet can vary widely.
In addition to sharks these dolphins may also consume a large variety of aquatic fish, invertebrate and mammals including:
- Polar bears
Killer whales are referred to as apex predators by marine biologists.
Being an apex predator means that they are able to hunt and search for food without having any natural predators of their own, so they do not have to worry about being hunted and attacked themselves.
Aside from being apex predators killer whales are also equipped with echolocation which helps them search for food that isn’t visible to the naked eye.
This comes in handy in low light environments and during the night when it is often difficult to see what’s in front of them.
When it comes to hunting sharks one known method killer whales use is to flank the shark and swim beneath it to try to force it to move to the surface of the ocean in order to limit its ability to escape.
The killer whales then attempt to ram the shark or hit it with their tail to flip it upside down which temporarily paralyzes the shark so that they can attack it without having to worry about being attacked by the defenseless shark.
Throughout history the views people have had about killer whales has changed from dangerous sea creatures that should be feared and never approached to intelligent, interesting and friendly marine mammals.
They have even played leading roles in movies such as Free Willy and have been the main attraction at marine parks due to their ability to learn complex tricks and perform amazing acrobatic feats.
Fortunately for us even though they may eat other mammals they don’t have any desire to attack or consume people, and that’s great news for us.
Despite this caution should be taken when in the vicinity of a killer whale (never approach them in the wild) as there have been rare attacks on humans when the killer whale feels threatened or cornered.
Professional trainers have spent years learning how to train, handle and direct these massive marine mammals and have learned proper safety procedures on how to deal with killer whales when in close proximity to them.