Important Facts About Great White Sharks

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Great white sharksAs one of the greatest predators in the animal kingdom, Great White Sharks have been the subject of curiosity from marine biologists, scientists, and explorers. They are very rarely found, and through media and anecdote they have been the subjects of much stigma and many preconceived notions. Here is a collection of important facts about Great White Sharks, considering that they are endangered and unique.

The largest Great White ever recorded was found off the coast of Cojimar, Cuba. It measured 21 feet and weighed over 7,000 pounds, almost twice as large and long as the average. Despite its size, the Great White Shark is not the largest shark in the ocean. However, it is the most predatory. Sometimes, the marine carnivores will result to cannibalism if necessary. Unlike humans, Great White Sharks have six basic senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, hearing, and electro-reception. The combination of these senses enabled the species to become one of the most efficient predators in the ocean. Their extinction would lead to a major imbalance in the food chain.

This fact might be important to know to those who plan on traveling somewhere coastal. The Great White Shark will hunt near the shore, mostly for sea lions and seals. Very rarely will humans be attacked. The Great White is one of the hardest animals to keep in captivity. Most die within the first handful of days. So unlike with other species, capturing them with the hopes of breeding is not efficient. The Great White shark can put 18,000 newtons of bite force, the highest amount of pressure of any of the shark species

Ironically, the Great White Shark is sensitive to high pitch noises, which are commonly emitted by struggling prey. Although fierce hunters, the beasts are not indiscriminate eating machines. Once full, the shark will not continue eating, however, they do occasionally eat items they are unable to digest. Great White Sharks do not have eyelids. Instead, they roll their eyes back to protect them from underwater debris.

They also utilize a technique named “spy-hopping,” whereby they stick their heads out of the water to inspect prey on land, mostly seals and sea lions. Whales and dolphins are not the only ones who can leap out of the water at great height as Great White Sharks can breach out of the water over six feet into the air.

This species of shark (and others as well) are the subject of a very strong rumor that they are fearful of dolphins. Many surfers cite anecdotal evidence of witnessing dolphins causing the predator to flee. Biologists tested this by placing a fish carcass into an area where Great Whites are abundant. The sharks attacked the fish, but the scientists quickly removed the carcass. They reintroduced it alongside a dolphin replica doll, and the sharks did not attack. Despite their rarity, they are one of the most widely dispersed sharks. They have been found in all oceans except the polar seas. Great White Shark pups are abandoned after birth, left to fend for themselves. Very rarely are the sharks seen together.

Marine biologists believe that it is very important for the public to know facts about Great White Sharks due to their being officially endangered. It is also extremely difficult to get the sharks to reproduce; the rarely reproduce in the wild and little is known about their sexual habits. The sharks are targets for sporting fisherman because of their teeth, fins, jaws, and bragging rights.

By Andres Loubriel

Ultimate Animals
National Geographic
Shark Facts