The great white shark has a reputation for being one ferocious animal. Its name has become synonymous to anything else that would incite fear as its status of being a nasty predator has been well-cemented all these years. The movie Jaws is one such example as it portrayed this torpedo-shaped sea dweller to hunt human beings for their prey. They have been attributed to almost 300 attacks on human beings since 1876, the most number of cases recorded being from the western coast of the United States.  Their size alone can make anyone be afraid of great whites, they can grow from 4.5 to 6 meters in length and weigh up to 2270 kilograms. Their sharp and serrated teeth also add up to their features of being referred to as aggressive predators. However, did you know that great white sharks do not target humans as a part of their diet? Besides, most of the attacks on humans are non-fatal. In most of these attacks, the great white sharks are just curious and do not intend to consume humans as their prey. Research has paved the way for us to understand more about these sea creatures. Hence, let us look further into these animals by enumerating some great white shark facts.
Despite their name, great white sharks are actually mostly bluish to brownish gray. What are white from these creatures are their underbellies.
Great white sharks are carnivores who love to prey on other sea creatures such as fish, rays and even other sharks. The adults of the group feast on much larger prey such as seals, sea turtles, dolphins and other animals found floating on the water. These animals use their heavily serrated teeth to tear down their food to be swallowed for ingestion.
Great whites are known to live along coastlines with cold, moderate temperatures. They are found in places such as in the coasts of California, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and South America among others.
These swimmers have a highly developed sense of smell and they have ability to sense electric charges released by other living beings. These are huge factors for them to be able to catch and hunt for prey.
Although there are no accurate estimations for the number of great white sharks in existence, there is an undeniable decrease in their numbers due to hunting, over-fishing and other factors. Hence, great white sharks are considered to be endangered species and are protected in various places such as in the USA, South Africa and Australia.
Great white shark facts allow us to be enlightened on this usually misunderstood sea creatures. Getting to learn more about these beings lets us appreciate why sharks, specifically great whites, behave the way that they do.
- “1876-2011 World’s Confirmed Unprovoked Attacks by White Sharks (N=263)”. Florida Museum of Natural History. Retrieved August 11, 2013.