White pointer, white death, man-eater, great white shark.
The white shark has a strong, heavy body that can be a dull slate-blue, grayish-brown, or almost black on top and turn a dirty white underneath. The pectoral fins have black edges, and there is often a black oval spot on the body just above or behind the fins. The large head ends in a tip at the conical snout, which explains the name white pointer. There is a large, distinct, flattened keel on either side of the caudal fin, and the second dorsal fin is greatly reduced. A distinctive feature is a set of large triangular teeth with sharp, serrated cutting edges.
Most white sharks live in temperate or even cool waters around the world and near the source of the marine mammals they prefer to feed on as they grow to large sizes. In fact, there are two much larger sharks, the basking shark of the North Atlantic and the whale shark of the tropics, but these are harmless plankton feeders.
It grows up to 26 feet, but usually does not exceed 16 feet in length. The white shark record of 2,664 pounds off the coast of South Australia in 1959 is still recognized by IGFA, although a much larger 17-footer weighing 3,427 pounds was caught on August 6, 1986.
Life history and Behavior
Food and feeding habits
Often kept near islands and marine colonies of seals and sea lions, which are its favorite food, it is believed that some attacks on humans occur because the white shark takes divers or surfers in wetsuits for seals. It is by far the most dangerous shark because of its combination of size, strength, ability, and predisposition to attack, as well as the many recorded attacks that have occurred in the twentieth century.
|Conservation status||Critically Endangered|
|Life span, years||70|
|Maximum body weight, kg||2.268|
|Maximum length, cm||610|
|Sailing speed, m/s||7|
|Threat to people||Edible|
|Way of eating||Predator|