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Spectacular Display': NZ Residents Capture 2 Hour Battle Between Killer Whale & Sharks

"It's amazing to see something that big, that spectacular..."

Which of these two most-feared marine predators -- killer whale or shark -- would have your vote in a battle?

New Zealanders got to see such a fight fight take place first hand in what the local TV3 station called "a rare and spectacular display of animal prowess." The station reported that residents began to gather on Tuatapere Beach to watch a group of sharks being hunted by orcas.

The scene got even more interesting when one of the sharks beached itself, only to be taunted by an onlooker's dog named Flea.

 

Check out the footage taken by a local resident in this Associated Press report:

Although the report doesn't reveal who won or lost the battle or if it was a draw, there have been several accounts over the years of whales and sharks getting into rifts. In 2009, The Telegraph reported that orcas were known to eat at least nine species of sharks, including great whites and mako. At the time, the Telegraph reported scientists describing the whale's techniques to catch a shark without getting injured itself:

"The most impressive strategy is the 'karate chop'," said expert Dr Ingrid Visser, 43, who has studied orca behaviour for 17 years.

"The orca will use its tail to drive the shark to the surface. They don't even touch it. Using an up-thrust of its tail it creates a vortex which pushes the shark up on they current they create with their movements.

"Once the shark is at the surface, the killer whale pivots and lifts its tail out of the water and comes down on top of it like a karate chop."

Another technique is corralling, where many whales isolate a shark and ram it or attack its underbelly, according to The Telegraph. The scientists said that the whales will almost always get the shark upside down so it is vulnerable.

Here National Geographic has more from scientists on how the whales hunt sharks:

One last thing…
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