Tuesday, October 17, 2006


October '97
In the waters of the Farallone Islands
30 miles west of San Francisco,
a Killer Whale/Orca named CA2 and
her galpal CA6 were videotaped
killing a Great White Shark and then
eating the shark's liver.

That reminded me of the scene in that
horrendous movie Orca
you know...where they find a dead
Great White on the beach and the
Ichthyologist solemnly states that
there is only one creature that could do this..
a Killer Whale.

My guess is that Dr. Hannibal_Lecter's
partaking of an occasional census taker
was about as out of the ordinary as the
incidence of Orcas enjoying their shark liver...
..because White liver would be served
extremely rare but not cold, because
surprisingly Whites can elevate their
body temp..this isn't sushi...
and Orcas probably rarely eat it because
White Sharks are now so
rare that they are a protected species..

To better understand exactly how
here is the proverbial tale of the tape:

A large White_Shark is about
17 feet long and would weigh about 2 Tons...

.about the same as my 16.7 foot long
4000 pound Dodge Caravan

An Orca, the world's largest Dolphin,
can grow to 30 feet in length and
weigh about 6.5 Tons..

or about the same as this very
cool Bell_XV-3 which, oddly enough,
has a 30 foot long fuselage and a
takeoff weight of 13,248 lbs.

btw part of this amazing attack is on
YouTube at Orca vs Shark but there
isn't much to see so I didn't add it but...
as well as a first hand account in
NationalWildlifeMagazine .

Sharks, as you all know, are made of cartilage
and unlike bony/true fishes don't have
gas-filled swim bladders.
Sharks need a large oil-filled liver
(up to 25% of their weight) for buoyancy.
Twenty five percent of a 2 ton fish is a lot of

frickin' liver!
Orcas have obviously discovered this delicacy

and no doubt have been
dining on Sharks for millions of years.

Another interesting behavior that
these two apex predators share is a
penchant for spyhopping.

Both White Sharks and Orcas will
raise their heads out of the water
to get a better view of the 'sitch'...
which usually entails scoping out
something that they would like to eat.. like a
raft of seals
or people in boats.

The Whites anyway,
the Orcas not so much.

What the heck does any of this have to do with the price of tea in china? Well I prepared some yummy liver for supper this evening and everytime that I make it I have to remark to my goodladywife about how Orcas also enjoy eating liver every so often.

When was the last time that you
A. saw an Orca eating a White or
B. flew in a Bell XV-3 or
C. dined on liver?


  1. reyspoutine9:36 a.m.

    i must admit that the last (and only) time i saw Orca, i was probably 11 or 12 years old. but it was awesome. poor dumbledore didn't stand a chance.

    i must also admit that the last time i ate liver i was probably 11 or 12 and it was awful, and so it remains to this day.

  2. The last time I saw an orca was on tv. Don't get much ocean action around these parts.

    And liver...I like mine, chopped and fried with hot sauce on the side! Yumsss! Wonder if the orca would like some hotsauce and ketchup next time? It'll grow hair on his chest.

  3. Well, I'll be damned, it just so happens that I was taking a tour of the islands in a Bell X-whatever, dining on liver pate', when lo and behold, right below us, a Killer whale was chewing on a Great White! What a coincidence! Now, about this bridge you might be interested in........

    Killer whales do pretty damn well without the opposing thumbs, doncha think? As for intelligence, well, there's this story I saw on the tube about a fishing village that somehow struck a deal with a local pod of killers in which the pod would drive their larger cousins into the bay so their human partners could do the dirty work, and all the killers took in return was the tongue. It worked great for generations until some stranger murdered a beached killer and the pod took their business elsewhere.

  4. I thought Orca died in the movie after Richard Harris belted out a few bars of 'McArthur Park'

    And don't laugh, I think I saw part of the Bell XV-3 during a tour of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's preservation and rework facility in Maryland.

    Don't screw with history majors, maaaaaan.

    Cos I'll never have that recipe agaaaaaaaaaaain, ohhhh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo . . . . ..

  5. reyofhope,
    Dumbledore was really slumming in that pooch! On the upside it was a revenge movie, which is good, and it was about a gigantic, intelligent force of nature pitted against greedy humans...but somehow it fell apart...I am surprised that nobody remade it with a few of the tricks that Spielberg used in Jaws...actually I wish that Spielberg would redo JAWS with an CG Bruce...THAT would be awesome.
    You need to start eating Liver and Spinach..then you can get rid of all of your steroids.

    Hi awaiting,
    The word 'Chopped' always reminds me of Loreena Bobbit!
    I am not touching any threads about hot chests, I mean hot sauce and ketchup..DOH!..
    Paging Dr. Freud...

    THE michael,
    HA good one!
    I totally deserve that.
    Bravo on the KIller in Eden, here is the schpot..
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/Nature/Killers in Eden.

    That is an excellent story about interspecial cooperation
    (isn't that special)
    That asshole who killed the Orca should have been sewn into a giant shark liver and towed behind a boat.

    I don't think that I can take it..
    I somehow knew that you would have been the only guy in the entire blogosphere that would have even known about the XV-3...talk about cool eh?

    You have to admit that the snappy, jazzy, bridge in the middle of Macarthur Park has that 'philly' horn sound that inspired the theme from Rocky a decade later.

    Dunnanununan NUNANUNANUNANA!
    Crap now I will have that stuck in my head all day!
    If only Richard would have retired his musical career after Camelot.

  6. Anonymous1:54 p.m.

    A. Never

    B. Never

    C. I was five. I threw up. No one ever made me eat liver again.

    Why the heck do you, a Canadanadian, have a Dodge Caravan? Is there nothing the US doesn't pollute Canada with?

  7. My experience is about the same as Laura Elizabeth. Boo, liver. Yecch.

  8. laura elizabeth,
    Sadly my Trabant, Yugo and Tatra are all
    fsyoe zaeebahnuh!

    The Government of Canada has a not so secret immigration policy that forces Canadians to drive vehicles that are big enough to smuggle in disaffected Democrats during cross border shopping excursions.
    Hell of a way to fight ZPG if you ask me.

    Anyway since our unarmed border guards have a don't ask/don't tell policy in force it is rather easy to sneak them all in as same sex spouses.

  9. Miss Cellania,
    Everyone say hello to one of the hardest working bloggers on the entire planet!

    My dear Miss, it takes a lot of gall to say NO to ingesting a 4lb. gland that secretes yellowish fluid into the digestive system...

    even if it is fried in butter, flour and smothered in onions?
    MMMM...are you sure that you don't want any?

  10. I used to really like liver when I was a kid.

    I was a very stupid kid.

  11. I thought you hated sharks and sea monsters and stuff. Is this some sort of homework your therapist set you?

    Do you want to talk about this, HE?

  12. Never

    I hope to see the 1st, and never experience the 3rd.

    If I didn't know any better, I'd bet my money on the shark. So it's good to know that the whale will win if an opportunity to bet on the outcome of such a fight presents itself to me.

  13. I detest liver. It's the equivalent of eating an oil filter (not in taste but in the liver's and oil filter's relative functions). I don't care how much onion and bacon you toss in with it - it's liver.

  14. Oh, and know why John Bobbitt's golf game went to hell? Too much slice in his stroke.

  15. They're both magnificent creatures. It's been years since I've had liver and it's not exactly on my to eat list. Not that I have a to eat list.

  16. The last time I bit into liver, I was a starving college student working at a Chinese restaurant where you ate what they handed you. I filled up on rice that night. If spicy Chinese gravy doesn't cover the taste, nothing will!

  17. When was the last time that you

    A. saw an Orca eating a White or

    cant rem

    B. flew in a Bell XV-3 or


    C. dined on liver?

    chicken liver (pate) yes. I kinda like the taste :)


  18. You said San Francisco! *sigh* Wait! No Rice-a-Roni! Dios mio! ;-P

    I live with a man obsessed with the idea of swimming with sharks... not gonna happen... yes, I will let him live a life with an unfulfilled dream... at least he gets to live!

    Shark liver? Knew I was veggie for some reason or other!

  19. Liver let die
    MMMM pate, sorry i havnt been comenting a fair bit going on at the moment... I am a big fan of liver, such as liver and onions.

    I have jumed out of a Bell long ranger from thrity feet above the bay, i was heavily involved in search and rescue at the time, swinging underneath after on a static line. it was an awesoem experience. I still hold a current helicopter crewmans certificate.
    does that count?

    Thanks for the enlightening post will try and be more active...I would have tipped the shark, learn something new every day.

  20. now joyce!
    How are you ever going to get your kids to eat liver with that attitude? Throw in some raw eggs and spinach and play the theme from Rocky next time that you serve it..YO ADRIAN!..Gonna fly now!

    The only thing that stopped me from being a Marine Biologist was the prospect of feeling depressed, tired, cold, alone and hungover from attempts to escape the isolation and loneliness of living at some godforsaken research outpost on some foggy, cold morning while a two ton carnivore that could eat me in 3 bites bumps the thin aluminum sides of my tiny 12 foot skiff that separates me from a hypothermic nightmare of terror and agonizing pain as I write notes with frozen fingers as the shark lazily devours a giant sea lion in fearsome 30 lb bites.

    See..this proves that you shouldn't bet on anything unless you have done a little homework.
    I read about a Scuba Diver in New Zealand who was treading water at the surface and felt a little tug on his flippers....when he looked down he saw that an Orca had gently mouthed his flipper then slowly sank out of sight..a little game of peekaboo..I would have died of a heart attack right then and there..

    editorius maximus,
    Oh for heaven sake..kidneys are the oil filter, eating liver is more like chewing on the ..on the... it is like eating the oil filter.
    Don't feel sorry for Mr. Bobbit,
    he of course went on to become a porn star and that would have never happened without the aid of his lovely Loreena and her handiwork. That's Amore!

    Wow are you a huge animal nut like me? They are both amazing and very important to the food chain. I marvel at the Sea World crowds oohing and aaahing as they watch Orcas performing tricks..in the wild they are tearing apart the mouths of giant Blue Whales so that they can eat the juicy tongues...kids would be crying and screaming in horror.

  21. miss cellaniac,
    OOOH! Those starving student stories always tug on my heart strings...funny how we hold on to them with such fondness.
    When I was in college I gave my liver a real 'HIC' workout. Luckily I have since been much kinder to my internal organs now that I have become mortal.

    Hola mizzie,
    Oh let him go..does he want to see the Whites from the cage or sit in a circle with his hands folded under his arms while they serve lunch to reef sharks.
    One of these days those little feeding sessions is probably going to go disastrously wrong and some of those sharks may end up eating a few vegetarians!

    That is very cool! I love choppers..it is surreal to elevate vertically..I can barely describe how awesome that feeling is. I spent some time with a young chopper pilot up North and he would take me for little jaunts along the riverbed..utterly fantastic.

  22. So tell me Donn...did you at least try to put into spelling the sound that Hannible Lecter makes after saying the line included in your title?

    Damnit Jim, I'm an agnostic, not a linguist!

  23. brian,
    ffft ffft ffft!
    First principles, Clarice.
    Read Marcus Aurelius.
    Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself?
    What is its nature?
    What does he do, this man you seek?

    What is the first and principal thing he does, what need does he serve by killing?

    No, he covets. That's his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice?
    Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer.
    No. Precisely.

    We begin by coveting what we see every day

  24. Wow! All from memory I'll bet!?

  25. Liver? Who eats that? The only livers I deal with are the ones from very small, tender children and I massage the juices over my skin to rejuvenate and soften it...

    Orcas don't exist. Try another one, HE! Next you'll say that there are Conservatives with a Conscience!

    And those big, lovely flying machines you mention? Fabulous for hunting those lovely, juicy, child-livers for my beauty routine.

  26. Fascinating trip into the seaworld.

    As for liver, I've tried it a few times. I don't mind the first couple of bites but after a while...

  27. Never

    And I don't expect my answers to change anytime soon.

  28. brian,
    Well afterall Hannibal is quite a role model..smart, urbane, creative, he is the ultimate antihero!

    Hey you sound like Hannibal's daughter..I can't wait for your Halloween post!
    I wondered why your skin looked so young and vibrant. I am dialing the FBI as you read this trying to keep you preoccupied...

    but I keep imagining that when they rush the house and you answer the door and all of those moths are flying around..

    it won't be the SWAT team they will be at the wrong house just like Silence of the Lambs...

    when you open the door all that you will see is just poor little Clarice Starling standing there...gasp!

  29. within,
    I am sure that you have put worse tasting things in your mouth. You need to try mine sometime..it is soaked in yummy breaded oniony goodness..mmmmm...you can barely taste that BILE...mmmm.





  30. The first 2 are filed under haven't done or seen that yet. The 3rd is something I'd like to forget.

  31. ...liver this evening...it tastes good!

    And you know I just skipped the post reading only the last part and looking at d pics.



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