Monday, February 6, 2012

Great White Shark Facts

great white shark spyhopping

  • The scientific name  of the Great White Shark is Carcharodon Carcharias. It is also known as the White Pointer or just as  the White Shark. 

  • Their favourite foods are pinnipeds – seals and sea lions, but in reality they will eat or attempt to eat anything in the ocean, including sea birds, as well as other fish and sharks. Given a choice, they prefer foods high in fat which will boost their energy levels for longer while keeping them feeling full.

  • In a practice known as ‘spyhopping’, great white sharks are one of the few shark species who are known to lift their heads right out of the water to look around. They may do this to see objects, but it is thought this helps them to smell their prey better.

  • Very little is known so far about their mating or breeding habits. It is known that they are ovoviviparous, meaning that the eggs hatch in utero and stay there until birth, with the bigger and stronger babies eating the smaller, weaker ones.

great white shark

  • A female great white is pregnant for 11 months.

  • Great white sharks are fish, but are warm-blooded fish.

  • The great white is the shark responsible for more attacks on humans each year that any other shark. Most of those attacks are only a test bite, taken because they are inquisitive. Because of their incredible size and strength of their jaws and teeth, more of these single bites are fatal due to the damage they inflict.

  • Great whites grow to a maximum of 20 feet on average, and can weigh up to 4,000lbs.

  • Great white sharks often travel in packs, known as ‘clans’. When one clan meets another, they interact in a friendly and inquisitive fashion.

  • Like a lot of other types of fish, and all sharks, the great white has an extra sensory organ in their head called the ampullae of lorenzini which allows them to detect the electrical fields of other animals as they move. Those sensors in the great white are highly tuned to detect weak signals given off by both distant prey or injured fish or mammals.

  • Great white sharks live an average of 30 years, but they are believed to live until 100. As they are now being tagged and studied in detail, this theory will be known or disproved in your lifetime.

  •  Due to over-fishing and shark finning, the great white shark is now listed as vulnerable on the IUCN list of endangered species.

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