Ecco le nuove scoperte sugli attacchi dell’orca ai squali: studi all’avanguardia

A Valpiana, a European shark study center has been operating since 2009, combining scientific research and education. It was founded and is directed by biologist and researcher Primo Micarelli, who is also a part-time lecturer at the University of Siena in the only Italian university course entirely dedicated to sharks. On Sunday, June 18th, the team of researchers from the Valpiana Shark Study Center, during an educational expedition in South Africa, had the opportunity to observe and document one of the most rare and controversial events in the marine world: the attack of an orca on a white shark. The team, coordinated by the director of the Shark Study Center, Primo Micarelli, and the scientific coordinator Francesca Romana Reinero, and composed of university students and veterans, on board the White Shark Africa boat, observed two white sharks of about 3 meters each in the waters of Mosselbay, near the coast, in the morning of June 18th. In the afternoon, around 3 p.m., during normal observation operations, the researchers also noticed the arrival of the Port and Starboard orca pair, present in those waters since 2017 and known to shark experts. After witnessing the swift escape of a white shark, the group of researchers found themselves facing an orca attacking the shark, which had no chance of escape. The orca then headed towards the boat, and it was therefore possible to notice a reddish-purple piece of meat in its mouth, presumably the liver of the killed white shark. “The liver, along with the heart – explains Primo Micarelli – are the only parts of the shark that orcas are interested in, and they surgically remove them, leaving the rest of the carcass intact. We photographed and recorded all the stages of the attack, producing important documentation for the study of orca behavior.” Satisfaction was expressed by Irene Marconi, the Culture Councilor of the Municipality of Massa Marittima: “It is a great source of pride for us – said Irene Marconi – to have an excellence like the Shark Study Center in Valpiana on our territory, a reality that for over 20 years has been involved in research, conservation, and education activities, and through numerous expeditions in South Africa, the Mediterranean, and Mexico, is obtaining results of interest and scientific value.”

Studi all’avanguardia Squali, nuove scoperte "Ecco l’attacco dell’Orca"

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