Last week my sister told us that a kid at her school asked who would win in a potential match-up between an owl and a coyote.

The child’s question captivated me. I initially decided a coyote would win because they’re lean and mean killing machines. But an owl has the advantage of flight and could pick up a coyote with its sharp talons, so advantage owl, right?

Then I decided I couldn’t be sure what would happen if the owl touched down and stood face-to-face with a ticked off coyote.

Regardless, a 6-year-old boy and I apparently share similar thoughts. Some years ago, I devoted a column to an ongoing discussion my youngest niece and I have regarding who would win if a shark and a lion fought.

I decided on those two combatants because of the shark’s reputation as a dead-eyed assassin and because the lion is known as the King of the Jungle. In hindsight, I should have selected a tiger because that majestic animal is a beast and the real king.

Days after my sister told us about the inquisitive little boy’s query, I asked if his question had been answered to his satisfaction. She said it had not because he had moved onto other questions like who would win between a lion and a tiger and a shark and a whale.

I gave the correct answer – tiger – to the first question. Indeed, my sister said the teacher researched these questions for the child and that was the consensus. But my answer – shark – to the second question was wrong.

Admittedly, I do not tune in to Shark Week programming. I’m more of a Big Cat Week kind of gal. Nevertheless, this answer rocked my world. I’ve seen Finding Nemo. I’m aware of dangers that lurk in the waters, but I’ve long considered the shark to be the tiger of the ocean. Now you’re telling me a whale can kill a shark?

My nephew-in-law, who is a Shark Week kind of guy, said that killer whales are living up to their names as killers. In fact, they’re killing sharks for their…livers. I guess killer whales are suffering from iron deficiencies.

I had so many questions including: Is this a new turn of events? Have whales just developed anemia? Have they just recently learned sharks have livers? Are they removing only the livers? If so, how?

I asked a couple of these question before saying, “No, I don’t want to know.”

But I did want to know. So, I consulted our friend Google. I found a story, read a couple paragraphs, and decided that I do not, in fact, want to know.

However, now I want to know who would win a match-up between a killer whale and a tiger.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.