Killer Sharks vs. Killer Whales

Two fierce predators face off in a showdown atop the ocean food chain on Nat Geo.
4:27 | 02/28/13

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Transcript for Killer Sharks vs. Killer Whales
When it comes -- fearsome creatures that lurk beneath the waves sharks have long held the upper hand in everything from horror movie casting today. Reelect he -- nightmares but they're not course the only deadly predators at the top of the under water food chain. Just last week some surfers beat a hasty retreat to dry land after having close encounter with a pod of killer whales off of Vancouver Island. Tonight ABC's tiny Rivera brings us a look at what happens when killer whales -- -- killer sharks beat candidacy. Great white shark. And the killer whale. Creatures of mythic proportions. But they come with vastly different on screen personas. The -- -- -- I've -- Gentle giant free Willy. But in reality killer whale is anything but gentle. It's dark and male. The top of the chronic food chain both built for -- killed but very different animals. Still wells are very soulful. Organisms there are very stable family unit great white sharks and their more solitary animals. Differences that become most evident during the hunts. Enter the sea lion 1000 pounds of muscle and -- Surprisingly. Ferocious and -- -- not an easy target. The shark is cautious -- waits for an opportunity because it only gets one shot. It's our job. It misses the sea lion easily escapes. They'll look for. Shallower waters -- more vulnerable situations it's often by surprise attack. And then you know -- drive through and lunged at the pray in and wounded and then -- -- -- ability to. What surprises many is that it is actually. Hardly survive a pod of killer whales than escaped from a great white. These killer whales have spotted their prey on a block of ice with chilling precision they line up and strike. Losing their skills to create a way too small and the sea lion is able to cling to the ice but the hide his patient and determined. After repeated attacks the sea lion can not hold on. It is held underwater. -- grounds. So wells very different and highly. Foraging techniques they will feed and been a very coordinated fashion. -- the hunt sharks rely on instinct. But young whales practice when the seamless caught it is carried out to the pod where the young woman in the car detailing. And for the killer whale it is an art that is constantly evolving they adapt. To certain conditions. And then proliferate those behaviors through time and then passed them on with the cultural transmission it's learned -- here. But there are passing on from generation. At thirty feet long -- 20000 pounds it is an eating machine sometimes even. Soon other whales we've seen killer whale attacked all sorts of other -- whales just part of their pride. This gray whale another giant of the -- is no match for the -- it's only predator save fifteen minutes. What happens when the killer whale and the great white turn on each other. He ancient enemies sometimes go after the same prey hunting sea lions head to head. With the blood in the water this shark is -- But then the whales right for the competition. There are striking animals -- how fast. They can move when they actually make the determination to attack their prey is remarkable. The shark is stunned then held upside down -- he suffocate the victors feast. In the end this collision and killers is no contest with its massive strength and adapted intelligence. The orca has no equal at feet. I'm Tanya -- for Nightline in New York. And the next episode of -- for the killers Monday march 4 on that -- while.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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