Difference between revisions of "Great white shark"

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[[Category:Dangerous animals]]

Revision as of 13:47, 10 April 2007

The Great white shark Carcharadon carcharias is a huge and dangerous carnivorous fish, commonly growing to thirty feet or more in length. The only larger sharks are the planktivorous basking shark and whale shark.


Great white sharks are found worldwide in tropical and temperate waters. They can regulate their body temperature to some degree, so as to remain active in cold water. Feeding particularly on marine mammals such as fur seals and sea lions, great white sharks typically capture their prey by giving a single devastating bite, then retreating and circling until the victim has bled to death.


Most attacks on surfers and bathers are believed to cases of mistaken identity, and they are generally not finished off, their flavour comparing poorly with that of a blubbery pinniped. However, some rogue individuals will develop a taste for human flesh and attack repeatedly. The book and film Jaws is based on such individuals.

Great white sharks have recently become rare due to human persecution, and are now protected in South Africa and Australia.