In the hunt for great white shark predators, scientists have tagged numerous individuals and gathered significant data from specimens that have been attacked and/or eaten. The results show great whites are seldom attacked, as they are usually the attackers due to their superior anatomy, sharper teeth and greater strength. Even whale sharks – the largest documented sharks in the ocean – don’t attack great whites. The greatest adversaries of the white pointers are the orca (the killer whale) and… the great white itself!
Not many animals exist that can be classified as predators to great white sharks. Even though the great white isn’t the largest fish in the sea, it is classified as having no natural predators. Great whites are not only the rulers of the ocean, but also some of the most dangerous fish out there, with fine-tuned senses a keen predator instinct and the ability to reach speeds of over 24 km/h. Documented accounts exist, however, of marine animals that are capable of attacking, defeating and eating a great white shark.
When scientists played killer whale sounds to great white specimens, the sharks were visibly distressed. This was already a clear sign that the orca is one of the species that could be categorized as great white shark predators. According to data obtained from observations and actual footage of orca attacks, the superior intelligence and strength of the orca plays a key role in the great white’s defeat. The whales have been found to attack them near the Farallon Islands off the coast of California. The hunting technique involves the orca flipping the shark on its back and keeping it in that position for a full 15 minutes, which causes it to suffocate due to a specific weakness in its anatomy known as tonic immobility. Orcas don’t normally choose to attack great white sharks, however, due to different dietary preferences.
It’s a well-known fact that great white sharks eat almost anything. This means they also eat each other and, according to scientists, this fact has actually been documented. Smaller great whites were observed to clear the water when a larger specimen showed up, and it’s not uncommon for the larger shark to attack them. In one instance, a 9-ft. long specimen was found to have been eaten by a mysterious larger adversary. It turned out that the culprit was one of the most feared great white shark predators – a member of the same species that has grown to a giant size.