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Great White Shark


Great White Shark - Carcharodon carcharias.

Great White Shark - Carcharodon carcharias.

Photo © Chuck Babbitt / iStockphoto.
Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), also known as white sharks or white pointers, are powerful swimmers and efficient predators that inhabits temperate and subtropical regions of the world's oceans.

Size and Weight:

About 20 to 26 feet and 4400 pounds. Females are generally larger than males.


Great white sharks are usually solitary hunters, feeding primarily on seals, dophins, large fish, and sea lions. White sharks occasionally attack humans and as a result have earned the infamous reputation of 'man-eaters'. White sharks are not believed to attack humans due to hunger but instead are thought to attack out of aggression, territoriality, or by mistake (since a person on a surfboard may resemble a seal).


Animals > Chordates > Fishes > Cartilaginous Fishes > Sharks, Skates and Rays > Great White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias)

Range and Habitat:

Wide geographic distribution. Found throughout temperate and subtropical oceans. Occurs in Indian ocean, Pacific ocean, and Atlantic ocean, as well as waters surrounding oceanic islands. Great white sharks inhabit coastal and offshore waters along continental shelves. They prefer waters with sea surface temperatures in the range of 12C-24C (53F-75F). Great white sharks sometimes enter shallow shore waters, bays, or harbors. They may also inhabit areas around isolated oceanic islands. Great white sharks occur in surface waters up to a depth of 1280m.
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