15 Great Facts About Great White Sharks
The fact that these great white sharks are one of the most recognizable species makes them one of the most popular marine animals among the deep end. However, these ocean apex predators have many interesting facts that you would find hard to believe.
With so many things to discover and know about Great White Sharks facts, we have hand-picked for you 15 of these great facts that you might find interesting.
15 Amazing Facts About White Sharks
First on the list of Great White Sharks facts is about Living in every ocean in the world these sharks can be seen swimming near you. These sharks prefer the cold waters and typically stay near the shore, but some can be seen wandering off deeper parts of the ocean.
It’s not a shock to some people when they see these ominous shark fins rising above the water on some beaches worldwide. Some beaches have warnings for shark sightings and warn people to avoid beaches when sharks are nearby.
Movie and Reality
Great white sharks have risen in popularity after having their time on the big screen. The cult classic movie jaws featured scary great white sharks attacking people.
This started a popular myth that sharks attack people and go crazy after smelling blood. Sharks have a really good sense of smell, able to smell a drop of blood on the water miles away.
In reality, sharks don't attack people. So naturally, humans aren't part of their diet and only become hostile when provoked.
Top of the Food Chain
Sharks don’t pose an immediate threat to people, but the great white sharks are on top of the food chain to most other sea life. Only a handful of other sea life can stand toe to toe with these powerful predators.
Young sharks start eating small fish and manta rays, and when they grow as dangerous adults, they love to eat larger prey. Mammals of the ocean have no chance against these hungry beasts. Sea lions, seals, and even small whales are favorite targets of great white sharks.
They Roll their Eyes as a Defense Mechanism
Unlike most sharks that have a clear pair of eyelids called nictitating membranes for protecting their eyeballs, great white sharks don't have those. Instead, they roll their eyes to make up for it, exposing the sclerotic coat, a tissue that encloses the eyeball in its socket, replacing the membranes that they lack.
Great Whites don't have the Same Food Preferences
No great white is identical to another. They vary in terms of their diet, and it is also dependent on how old the shark is already. At their young state, they usually feed on fish and squid, and as they grow older, they tend to devour larger prey like seals and sea lions to enumerate a few marine mammals.
The reason for this is the way their teeth develop throughout their lifetime, as those great juvenile whites have narrower teeth made for munching on smaller and slippery fishes. Then as they mature into adult sharks, they develop broader, sharper, triangle-shaped teeth to equip them to pierce through and tear bigger chunks of meat from their meal.
They are Preyed on by Orcas
No matter how huge and predatory great whites can get, would you believe that these big baddies of the ocean get preyed upon, too?
They are usually the target of another creature in the deep end - the orcas. As much as they are cute and soft-looking, being part of the dolphin family and the largest among them, these babies are equally as deadly, thus being tagged and known as killer whales.
Orcas attack and devour them during the shark’s vulnerable state when they go into tonic immobility, causing them to flip upside down, freeze up, and be semi-unconscious, being unable to move.
Real Size might have been Exaggerated
Great whites are undeniably huge, and there’s no doubt about that. Unfortunately, there had been some wrong estimations in the past.
The largest great white recorded weighed over 2,600 pounds caught in 1959. The average for females is 16 feet long, while males reach only 13 feet.
They do not do well in Aquariums
There is no containing these wild beasts; many have tried keeping them in large aquariums, but no success. Living conditions of the great white sharks are impossible for tanks, even in the biggest ones.
In order to breathe, they need to be in constant motion to push air through their gills, and their large appetite is a problem. Even after feeding them, they still like to hunt, causing them to run into the glass.
Traveling across oceans to migrate, great white sharks cover over 2000 miles of ocean each year. They travel to different locations to preferred water temperatures and find better hunting grounds throughout the year.
Sea creatures like to jump above water just to hunt their prey. However, great whites have a trick up the sleeve that yields them much success in hunting. This amazing feat is unique to these creatures and is an amazing evolutionary trait that made them such great hunters.
This move is called breaching, and it's done by lurking underneath unsuspecting prey and using their speed to quickly jump and bite their target.
The bigger, the better
We've discussed their diet so many times, but it still comes as a surprise how they love to eat bigger fish. During the 1960s, some scientists discovered large bones after dissecting a great white shark and found bones that belonged to whale sharks. As a result, whale sharks are way larger than any great white shark ever.
Perfectly sculpted bodies of nature streamlined for speed with strong tails to help propel them, these machines can reach crazy speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour.
Jaws that bite
Nothing escapes the jaws of these scary beasts. Once these sharks bite you, there's no hope in saving whatever limb they might have gotten to. Researchers estimate their bite force to be about 625PSI, but their seven rows of teeth will be a problem.
Humans kill the shark and not the other way around
While there are a few shark attacks every year, more great white sharks are being hunted and dwindling in population. Humans pose a very big threat to the survival of great white sharks.
Great white shark facts are the best examples of years of evolution working to create the hunting machine. Despite being such adaptive creatures, they still have a hard time against us humans hunting them down. The great white sharks are considered vulnerable species by the WWF and should be taken more care of.
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