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MARINE MAMMAL SCIENCE, 12(4):606-611 (October 1996) 0 1996 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy
 

Summary: MARINE MAMMAL SCIENCE, 12(4):606-611 (October 1996)
0 1996 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy
A REPORT OF KILLER WHALES (ORCinUS ORCA)
FEEDING ON A CARCHARHINID SHARK IN COSTA RICA
Killer whales (Orcinus orca) consume a large variety of prey: marine mam-
mals, fishes, seabirds, sea turtles, and cephalopods (e.g., reviews provided by
Martinez and Klinghammer 1970, Hoyt 1984, Perrin 1982, Jefferson et dl.
1991). However, elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and rays) are found infrequent-
ly in killer whale stomachs (Castello 1977), and few observations of killer
whale predation on elasmobranchs have been reported. We present an account
of a killer whale attack on an unidentified carcharhinid shark and a review of
killer whale predation on sharks and other elasmobranchs.
On 2 May 1992 at 0815, a group of four killer whales was sighted .4 km
from the mouth of Golfo Dulce (8 83 in the Pacific region of
southern Costa Rica. The sighting was made incidental to a study of bottlenose
dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) ecology in the area. Sunny weather with a Beaufort
sea state of 1 facilitated detailed observations of the event. The killer whales
were observed from a 5-m inflatable boat for one hour and were recorded on
8-mm video tape and 35-mm slide film. From their size relative to the ob-
servation platform, the group was determined to consist of three subadult

  

Source: Acevedo, Alejandro - Department of Biology, Western Washington University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology