Surgeons of the Sea

Free Willy vs Jaws… who wins? Hollywood has altered our expectations about how this sort of apex predator duel would go down. Unless you spend more time watching documentaries than old movies on VHS, then the answer isn’t so clear. The biggest great white sharks can measure six metres long, weigh more than 2200 kilograms and have a biting power of 1800 kilograms per square inch. The biggest orca, on the other hand, was measured at 9.75 metres and weighed 10,000 kilograms. Perhaps most importantly, orcas are smart. Real smart. Let’s just say, if Willy surgically removed Jesse’s liver, then the movie probably wouldn’t have been such a family-friendly classic. Early in May 2017, on the coast of South Africa, a 4.9-metre female great white shark washed up in Gansbaai, a fishing town at the very bottom of Africa. A team of experts went to dissect the shark, the largest to…