The Great White Shark is a large lamniform shark that is found in coastal surface waters in all oceans. It can grow to be 20 feet long and weigh as much as 5,000 pounds. You may have heard of this particular species of shark from the movie Jaws or even just through conversation. They are said to be the world’s largest-known predatory fish. Here are a few facts about the Great white shark:
1. It is the only surviving species of its genus, Carcharodon.
2. It’s first scientific name, Squalus carcharias, was given by Carolus Linnaeus in 1758.
3. They live in waters with temperature ranges from 54 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. A study has shown that great white sharks from California would migrate to an area between Baja, California to Hawaii, where they spend at least 100 days of the year before they migrate back to Baja (Vacation?).
5. A similar study says that a great white shark from South Africa was found swimming to the northwestern coast of Australia and eventually migrated back to South Africa (12,000 miles) in under nine months.
6. The largest great white shark recognized by the International Game Fish Association was one found by Alf Dean in Southern-Australian waters in 1959. The shark weighed 2,660 pounds. Several larger sharks were found, but it went unrecognized by the association for rules violations.
7. They have an extra sense that is given by Ampullae of Lorenzini, which allows them to detect the electromagnetic field that is emitted by the movement of living animals.
8. They are carnivores, primarily eating fish, dolphins, seals, sea lions, porpoises, sea turtles, sea otters, and even penguins.
9. When they are hunting for dolphins and porpoises, they attack from below, behind, and even above to avoid being detected by their prey’s echolocation.
10. Great white sharks can be cannibalistic.
11. They are known to do test-biting with buoys, flotsam, and might even grab a human or a surfboard with their mouth in order to determine what kind of object it might be.
12. Some researchers have hypothesized that humans have low fatality due to their ability to get out of the water from the first bite, not because the sharks don’t like human flesh.
13. There have been many “shark repellents” that have been tested, but the most effective is an electronic beacon (POD) which is worn by the diver that disturbs the shark’s most sensitive electro-receptive sense organs by the electric field the device creates.
14. Great white sharks rarely attack and sink boats. However, in a few cases, they have attacked boats up to thirty-three feet in length.
15. Before August 1981, keeping a great white shark in captivity lasted no more than eleven days. In August 11, 1981, a shark had been held in captivity for sixteen days at SeaWorld in San Diego, California before being re-released into the wild.
16. The maximum penalty for targeting great white sharks is a $250,000 fine and up to six months in prison.
17. The poikilothermic great white shark have developed adaptations making it possible to maintain a body temperature warmer than the surrounding water.
18. They have a reputation for being ferocious predators, and typically hunt using an ambush technique, which is attacking their prey from below.
19. The great white shark is one of only a few species of sharks that regularly lift its head above sea surface to gaze at objects such as prey with some experts saying that this increases the sharks sense of smell, since smells travel faster in air than in water.
20. Many sources estimate that they can live from 30 to over 100 years old, although the lifespan of this animal has not been definitively established.
Great white sharks are definitely one of the main reasons for man’s fear of the ocean. Hopefully, in the coming years, hopefully we can come up with devices and better safety precautions to help prevent great white shark attacks on humans.