So the title is pretty self explanatory. I'll start with some feats of what I consider to be the most extreme predatory animal, the American Mink. Will keep on posting here, but everyone is welcome to contribute.
That could be said about many large prey items. How many vertebrates do you know that can kill an animal 20 times their own size, even if the prey item’s defensive options are limited? The ability to puncture the spinal chord (or braincase) of such a large prey item is what’s honestly hard to imagine. Of course a 230kg calf is somewhat helpless against a golden eagle, otherwise it would not be killed. But it certainly wouldn’t be helpless against a 5kg house cat…
Yeah, because a house cat can't deliver fatal damage. Golden eagle's damage dealing potential is far greater. Its talons and grip strength are extremely potent. Disclaimer though - a 230kg calf *can* roll and try to crush an eagle. But I don't see it being too good at it.
^Many human adults couldn't kick or throw a half pound football or soccer ball nearly as high as that orca "punted" that seal. It's a Pacific harbor seal, they weigh about 130 pounds as adults. It doesn't look like a pup, I don't know if it's full grown or not.
By comparison here's perhaps the world's strongest man throwing a 56 pound hammer around 20 feet into the air. Note how much easier it would be to gain torque with his technique, plus he has the advantage of a handle to hold and secure, helping sling the weight into air. Think about how much harder it would be to throw a much heaver, slippery seal, with no "handles" and using a tail rather than a hand, with no fingers or prehensile ability to grasp onto the weight. So under the assumption that the seal weighs roughly 130 pounds, I'd make a total guess that this orca's tail throw is generating probably something like 30-40 more force than the world's strongest man? Someone who's more proficient in physics/mathematics and calculating vertical/horizontal displacement should do a calculation and comparison... Theropod, coherentsheaf, Ausar, any takers?
Here's what a biologist had to say about the event. See bold below.
Orcas (also referred to as killer whales) are among the ocean's most efficient predators for a reason: they weigh in at up to 11 tons, boast a mouth full of large, interlocking teeth, and can reach top speeds of around 30 miles (48 kilometres) per hour. They're also highly social and intelligent – and that makes their hunting strategies creatively lethal.
Often, the tactics depend on what's for dinner: schools of fish are herded and snared by bubbles, while sharks are sometimes dispatched with "karate chops". But when it comes to fast and agile common dolphins (like the one in these photos), the hunt often sees a pack of killer whales teaming up in a coordinated attack and pursuing their quarry at extremely high speed.
“Imagine being a whale chasing a dolphin at 20 knots. It really can’t open its mouth because the drag on its lower jaw would be pretty horrific. So they tend to just ram them, and in doing so, the prey often do go flying in the air,” John Ford, a whale biologist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, told Wired when a similar incident played out in California's Monterey Bay in 2013.
Killer whales have been observed "punting" several different species of dolphins and porpoises – and the resulting trauma can be pretty grisly. "When they hit Dall's porpoises, they do it to eviscerate them," says cetacean researcher Dr Chris Parsons. "They hit them so hard that their entrails pop out, which [the orcas] leave behind after eating the muscle and blubber." And it's not just cetaceans. Stunned whale watchers off the Canadian coast witnessed an orca hurling a Pacific harbour seal 80 feet into the air just last year. In that instance, the slower-moving seal was dispatched with a casual flick of the orca's tail, and according to Parsons, it was likely just a bit of target practice on the orca's part. "They don't often eat the seals [after hitting them]," he explains.
Yeah I'm also eager to see some calculations of the force. And your comparison with Haftjor is interesting, but, as you noted, not quite applicable (kicking force vs throwing force). I think the best way a human could try to compare with this would be with a full body momentum, two legged kick on a hanging weight, doing a 180° body swing from a horizontal pole.
Anyway, here are the two more brutal records( the one being the FKW case you mentioned in another thread) of orcas vs their close delphine relatives. Incredible captions bellow are from the first article.
OK, going by the proposed figures of 80 feet and 130 pounds vs 20 feet and 56 pounds
We need a bit of guesswork as to the distance both use for accellerating the "projectile". For the orca I’m going with about 3m, as it does seem to use its tail like a catapult and swings it pretty far into the air. But that’s only a very rough guess, I don’t know the length of the specific orca in question and it’s impossible to discern for how long the seal and the tail were actually in contact. So you can feel free to plug in a different figure if you want. The guy seems to accellerate the hammer from between his legs up to above his head, i.e. roughly his own body height, so let’s go with about 2m.
The energy imparted on the seal would be 59kg*g*24m=14160Nm, the energy of the hammer would be 25*g*6m=1500Nm. So the orca’s tail imparts roughly 10 times the kinetic energy on that seal that Ser Clegane (EDIT: wow, he really is! that was a lucky guess on my part) imparts on the hammer. Based on the aforementioned distances, the (average) force the orca needs to impart during accelleration is 14160Nm/3m=4720N or 472kg, the average force for the human is 1500Nm/2m=750N or 75kg. Sounds reasonable?
As for the (vertical component of) speed at "takeoff", we need a separate calculation accounting for the distance over which the objects are accellerated, so 21m*59kg*g=0.5*59kg*v² → (210*2)^0.5=v=20.5ms⁻¹ for the seal, 4m*25kg*g=0.5*25kg*v² → (40*2)^0.5=v=8.9ms⁻¹ for the hammer. Honestly, as the main propulsory organ of a multi-tonne predator, and a very fast one on top of that, I don’t find it at all surprising that orca tail slaps are very powerful. In fact playing flukeball with a seal is probably downright easy for them, as impressive as it is to a human-sized observer.