Great White Sharks

The Great White Shark, a legendary predator that strikes fear in the hearts of many all around the globe, is the largest predatory fish in the world. This shark, with its massive size and ferocious predatory instincts has surely earned the title “Great” in front of its name. Only the Whale Shark and the Basking Shark grow to be larger than the Great White.

The body of a Great White Shark is adequately designed to function as a lethal predator. These sharks can weigh up to 2.5 tons and can grow to lengths of 20 ft/6 m long. They have several rows of teeth that they use to tear chunks out of their prey, they then swallow the chunks hole. Juvenile Great Whites love to prey on small fish and rays; But as they mature, they tend to go for large marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions.

dolphins in water
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Pexels.com

Fortunately for us, humans are not on the menu. While shark attacks do occur, it is rare for a Great White Shark to intentionally attack a person. If a Great White does bite a human, they typically spit them out. This is because they know that humans are not their preferred prey. However, these accidental attacks should be taken seriously because even a small bite from a Great White can be lethal.

Great Whites are highly migratory and are known to take deep ocean dives in search of squid and other slow-moving fish. While they can be found all over the world, they prefer to swim in coastal waters where prey is abundant. These sharks, as mentioned previously, prey on several sea creatures, and very few things can threaten a Great White. These sharks are only threatened by three things: Orcas, larger sharks, and human interference. Whites are often caught in fish nets by fishermen, sometimes by mistake and other times on purpose. Those who intentionally catch Great White Sharks sell their body parts to buyers all around the world. Their fins are used to make an Asian delicacy called shark fin soup, while their massive jaws and teeth are sold to collectors.

orca in body of water
Photo by Andre Estevez on Pexels.com

Did you know that Great White Sharks can live just as long as humans? Studies show that they can live up to 70 years or more! It only takes 9 years for a male shark to reach maturity while it takes female sharks a little longer to mature at 14 years. Much of Great White Shark breeding behavior is a mystery. However, what is known, is that females perform live birth for their pups. Meaning her eggs hatch inside her stomach. Female sharks will normally give birth to 2 to 10 pups, but one shark has been reported to give birth to 17 pups.

It is believed that their numbers may potentially be dwindling due to overfishing. Since little is known about their breeding behavior, not much is known about how quickly the species can recover. If you would like to make a contribution to help support the conservation of Great White Sharks and their ecosystems, you can donate to Oceana at their website https://oceana.org/

Thanks for reading and if you would like to learn more interesting facts about wildlife, check out these other articles posted on our website at trailtrekca.com!

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Mountain Lions 

Rainbow Trout 

California Parrots 

Black Bears 

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake 

Leopard Shark 

 

Citations 

“Great White Shark.” Oceana, oceana.org/marine-life/sharks-rays/great-white-shark.

“Great White Shark.” National Geographic, 21 Sept. 2018, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/g/great-white-shark/.

“Great White Sharks.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/great-white-shark.

“Great White Shark.” Oceana, oceana.org/marine-life/sharks-rays/great-white-shark.

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