IMG_7516 Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) eating Bigeye Thresher Shark (Alopias superciliosus)
Orca, or killer whale, Orcinus orca, with recently killed thresher shark, Alopias sp. likely a bigeye thresher shark, Alopias superciliousus. Photographed off shore near the island of Hawaii. Orcas are listed as 'data deficient' by the IUCN. All species of thresher shark are listed as 'vulnerable to extinction' by the IUCN. Image was captured as a wild event with no bait, coaxing, coercion or manipulation of any kind. The background story is; a pod of transient orcas was witnessed folllowing a pod of sperm whales. Physeter macrodon. A whale research team was successful in tagging orcas for the first time in tropical waters the day before. The photrographer was working closely with the research team and photgraphed an orca underwater in Hawaii for what is believed to be the first time. The following day, because the orcas were tagged and could be located, the photographer entered the water again to capture this predator/prey event.