Great White Shark Information
Great white shark information. The great white shark is the largest predatory shark, reaching a length of over 20' and up to 7040 lbs. Learn more about this terrifying creature.
The great white shark has small pores in the snout that lead to receptors that pick up electrical nerve signals in prey. Other sensors can detect blood in the water. As the shark attacks, its snout lifts out of the way and the upper and lower jaws protrude to align the teeth and increase biting capacity. He has wing-like pectoral fins that provide lift, holding up the shark's body in the water as it moves forward. If it stops swimming, it will sink.
Unlike most sharks the great white holds its body quite stiffly as it swims and drives itself along with its highly efficient tail. Its body is broad in the middle and pointed at each end, the body slips easily throgh the water. Its teeth are broad, sharp and serrated. Old, worn outer teeth shear off and new, sharp teeth move up from behind to replace them.
The great white shark roams at large in many of the world's seas and oceans. Although it is easily capable of making long journeys across deep stretches of water; the great white spends most of its time in coastal areas and around reefs where there are plenty of fish and sea mammals. The great white avoids very warm or cold seas, preferring water ranging from 50-70F. It is very rare in polar and tropical waters, but regularly visits North American shores. It's been known to wander as far north as Alaska, but its main bases in America are around the seal colonies of California where prey is easy to find.
The streamlining of the great white allows it to swim all day at low speed without wasting energy. This is important because the shark hunts large prey like tuna, other sharks, seals, and dolphins, which are often widely scattered, and it may have to forgo food for many days or even months. Great whites usually hunt alone, but sometimes cruise the seas in company. Some pairs hunt in the same areas and even turn up at each others kills.
Predatory sharks are equipped with an array of prey detectors. Chemical traces in the water provide the first indication of a possible meal, becoming stronger as the shark follows the source. Closer still, it can sense minute electrical pulses of its prey, which increases as it comes into view.
Like other sharks, the make great white has a pair of long claspers to inject sperm into the female. This way, her eggs can be fertilized internally, so they develop into young sharks inside her body. In her womb, the young feed on a supply of unfertilized eggs, a system that lets them grow rapidly but limits the number of young the female can produce.Unlike most fish, she gives birth to a few, fully formed young instead of casting eggs into the water. Accordingly, the young are fully independent from birth. The mother does not look after them, but is careful to give birth in shallows where they are less likly to become another shark's meal.
The great white is rare, and, despite its reputation for ferocity, it is not a man-eater. Attitudes are changing, and the species is now under several protection programs, leading the way for survival for future generations.