Watch: False Killer Whales Hunt, Kill, and Eat a Shark

May 13, 2016 | Erica Tennenhouse

Photo credit: NoStopVids01/Youtube

The hunter has become the hunted.

An amateur drone hobbyist captured rare footage of a pod of false killer whales chasing down and killing a juvenile shark off the coast of Australia.

Video of the hunt was taken by photographer Bruno Kataoka and broadcast on a local TV station, 7 News Sydney. The aerial footage taken off the coast of Cronulla, a suburb of Sydney, shows four false killer whales chasing their prey until one whale lunges and snatches the shark in its jaws.

False killer whales share similarities with the more widely known killer whales, but they are a completely separate species. Similar to killer whales, false killer whales have been documented attacking and feeding on small cetaceans such as dolphins, though they generally feed on a variety of oceanic squid and large fish like tuna. Adult males can reach lengths of up to 6 meters (19.7 feet), and females can reach up to 5 meters (16.4 feet).

The footage of the false killer whales attacking a shark was surprising, as sharks are not known to have many natural predators. Because false killer whales have not been extensively studied, it is not known whether sharks form a regular part of their diet. This video offers a rare glimpse into the hunting behavior of the false killer whale.

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