In this article, we are going to investigate one of the most enigmatic and exciting wild animals of the marine fauna. It is nothing more and nothing less than the great white shark. It is the so-called super shark, is the king of all sharks. Indeed, it is the most feared by other wild animals in the ocean. Do not miss this interesting post and dive with us in deep water to learn about the characteristics, habitat, feeding, reproduction, and other interesting facts about the white shark.
Characteristics of the Great White Shark
This wild animal, belonging to the marine fauna, has as scientific name Carcharodon carcharias. It is known in Iberian lands as jaquetón, escualo, and other names that have assigned it throughout time. It is defined as a lamniform cartilaginous fish, whose environment or location is in warm and temperate waters, which are found in all oceans.
It should be noted that this type of species is the only one that survives the genus Carcharodon. Its scientific name was assigned in 1758 as Squalus Carcharias. Fossil records are showing that its existence dates back to the Miocene, i.e., 16 million years ago.
Its skin complexion is white on the belly. The upper part, or what we call the back, is dark grey. Their body is fusiform, and they are very robust. Its mouth is huge and round in shape, forms an arch and is always semi-open, which shows a row of teeth.
It can measure up to 6.4 meters long and weigh more than two tons. It has triangular fins with backward curves that make the white shark swim at very high speeds.
Their teeth are large and triangular, as well as being very wide. They do not have diastemas, like other fish. Their entire jaws have aligned teeth and can contain, tear and cut. In the back of the two rows of primary teeth, they have two rows of new teeth in constant growth, to replace those that are falling.
Their sense of smell is so efficient that they can detect a drop of blood diluted in 100 liters of water. He has a sizeable cone-shaped head and completely black eyes. His blood temperature ranges from 3 to 5 ºC. This accelerates their digestion and gives them a lot of endurance and strength.
White Shark Habitat
The white shark likes to swim in warm waters. Especially those that do not have much depth. This is because this type of habitat concentrates a lot of animal life that serves as food for this powerful and great fish. For this reason, it is widespread to see the white shark in the waters of the continental shelf, that is, very close to the coasts.
He is the king of marine life, so he is a significant predator. The white shark eats from small and large fish to dolphins, even other sharks. As adults, they hunt those animals that are easy to catch, such as seals and penguins; and sometimes they become scavengers.
White Shark Reproduction Form
The male white shark matures sexually when it is 4 years old and measures 3.8 meters. The female is ready to mate when she is 4.5 to 5 meters tall. It is the breeding season in spring-summer. It is an ovoviviparous species. Therefore, the female incubates in her uterus from 4 to 10 eggs, usually hatch only 4 and are born measuring 12 centimeters. These baby sharks can measure in their first year of life, up to 2 meters long.
The white shark is not a radical threat to other species, as they only comply with their nature. It is an animal that is instead a victim of man. This is not only for fishing nets to catch other species but also for human consumption. Their fins are sought for aphrodisiac dishes, and their teeth for trafficking in them and making various products.
Do White Sharks Like to Eat Human Meat?
It should be noted that the white shark is an animal expert in hunting. Therefore, it is hazardous for the human being, by its violent attitude when it defends itself and eats. However, it is essential to note that it does not seek to eat humans. His hunting focuses on the fish and animals already mentioned.
Shark attacks on surfers are mostly heard; and this is believed to be more because of a confusion of the human silhouette with animal species, such as seals, sea lions or turtles. Other theories say that these wild animals are inquisitive; and in some cases biting quickly and leaving is a way of satiating that curiosity.
However, despite all the theories that exist, there is no precise answer as to why the white shark attacks on humans occur. Despite that, we can be sure that by nature, we are not part of their menu.
Frequently asked questions about this animal
Next we will try to clear all the doubts that are presented about this powerful animal of the ocean.
Why great white sharks are endangered?
IUCN began listing the Great white shark on its Red List in 1996, classifying it as Vulnerable to Extinction Danger. It is not possible to know exactly how many white sharks remain, but their population density has dropped considerably. This, together with other factors such as low reproduction rate and low life expectancy, make this shark endangered.
Sportfishing has increased, mainly thanks to the popularity of movies such as Steven Spielberg’s Shark.
There is still no international law banning white shark fishing.
Can a great white shark live in captivity
Most shark species do not do well in captivity as many of them end up dying within a year.
Many experts believe that the stress of these captive animals is due to their high level of intelligence, which makes it difficult for them to live in captivity.
Besides, the behavior of captive white sharks does not coincide as they do not follow many of the usual behaviors they would do in nature. Therefore, observing them in captivity to learn about how they live in nature is not very useful.
Can a great white shark survive in freshwater?
Although some sharks may swim in river estuaries with a mixture of fresh and saltwater, and some may even use these areas as nurseries for small sharks, but most of the time they live in oceanic waters.
However, two species can survive long in freshwater and have the physiological adaptations that allow them to do so.
There are records of bull sharks that have been caught in the Amazon River or the Mississippi River several thousand kilometers from the sea and the spear shark that has been caught in Australian rivers far from the sea as well.
Although these sharks can survive long in freshwater, there are no developing populations in rivers or freshwater lakes.
How long great white shark live?
Some scientists think that the great white shark could live up to 100 years, but this has not been proven.
How big great white shark communicates?
Sharks are brilliant creatures, so it is no surprise to learn that they have a lot of effective ways to communicate.
However, sharks are generally solitary, not found in groups. This makes it more challenging to observe how they communicate with each other, unlike other animals that live in the water.
They have an incredible sense of hearing, believed to be the way they communicate most of the time. They can hear shallow frequency sounds, so a lot of them were not even taken into account during the observations.
They can also use senses that allow them to pick up vibrations and electrical currents from other sharks in the water.
Different forms of communication
A large part of shark communication consists of aggression. They fight each other, not over territory, but in search of prey. A shark can kill its prey, but many others will have a chance to get a piece of it.
Sometimes these communications are friendly. Most of the time, it ends up being a battle, to see who can maintain control of the prey. That is why most sharks will not kill anything more prominent than they can immediately swallow unless they have no other choice.
The way a shark shows its body has a lot to do with communication. They use these non-verbal signals more than any sounds. It is believed that they send vibrations to each other with the way they swim and other types of body movements.
Humans cannot hear these types of communication through water, so it is complicated for scientists to have an idea of what they mean.
Communication in shark mating
Most of the time communication efforts are made by males to mate with females. They do not make any sounds that can be heard by us like whales and dolphins. Males are too aggressive when they find a female. They bite into their back to stay in place when mating takes place.
Since sharks do not care about their offspring, the ability to communicate between mother and children does not exist. This is disappointing because these interactions are a great way to know the communication skills of animals.
How many great white sharks are there in the world?
Australia has about 2,210 adult white sharks, and 90 of every 100 will survive next year, according to a study published in the two populations that inhabit the country’s coasts.
The Commonwealth of Australia’s Organisation for Industrial and Scientific Research (CSIRO) based the research on a combination of statistical and genetic methods without the need to see or catch an adult specimen in the face of the species’ sighting difficulties.
The populations studied are one on the east coast, between the state of Victoria in the southeast and Queensland in the northeast, extending towards New Zealand, and another on the southwest coast of the state of Western Australia.
The research estimated that there are about 750 adult white sharks on the east coast, ranging from 470 to 1,030, and about 1,460 on the southwest coast, ranging from 760 to 2,250.
Experts believe that the adult population of these sharks has remained stable since the implementation of protection measures in the late 1990s. To reach the approximate number of white sharks, scientists have analyzed the DNA of young sharks to look for genetic markers related to their parents.
From a sample of 214 specimens from the east coast, it was found that 70 of them shared the same parents, which allowed to calculate the size of the adult population statistically.