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Great White Shark

Carcharodon carcharias


The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), also known as the great white, white pointer, white shark, or white death, is a species of large lamniform shark which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. The great white shark is mainly known for its size, with mature individuals growing up to 6.4 m (21 ft) in length (although reports have been published of great white sharks measuring over 8 m (26 ft), and 3,324 kg (7,328 lb) in weight). This shark reaches its maturity around 15 years of age and was previously believed to have a life span of over 30 years. The true lifespan of great white sharks is far longer; now estimated to be as long as 70 years or more, making it one of the longest lived cartilaginous fish currently known. Great white sharks can accelerate to speeds that exceed 56 km/h (35 mph). The great white shark has no natural predators other than the Orca. The great white shark is arguably the world's largest known extant macropredatory fish, and is one of the primary predators of marine mammals. It is also known to prey upon a variety of other marine animals, including fish and seabirds. It is the only known surviving species of its genus Carcharodon, and is ranked first in having the most attacks on humans. (


Great white sharks live in almost all coastal and offshore waters which have water temperature between 12 and 24 °C (54 and 75 °F), with greater concentrations in the United States (Atlantic Northeast and California), South Africa, Japan, Oceania, Chile, and the Mediterranean. One of the densest known populations is found around Dyer Island, South Africa, where almost all of the shark research is done. The great white is an epipelagic fish, observed mostly in the presence of rich game, such as fur seals, sea lions, cetaceans, other sharks, and large bony fish species. In the open ocean, it has been recorded at depths as great as 1,200 m (3,900 ft). These findings challenge the traditional notion about the great white as being a coastal species. (

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Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 9 years ago

Thanks for sharing this and Congratulations Yaniv & Sarit !

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 9 years ago

Congratulations Yaniv and Sarit.

Wow! Thank you very much for featuring our spotting!

The blog about the whale sharks is very informative, and also sad. It sheds light on how sometimes tourism and wildlife don't go together that well. It's sad to hear about these magnificent giants being injured by boats filled with people that just want to see them. I hope there are ways to minimize the damage to them, while giving tourists a chance to see them in their natural habitat.

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Congratulations Yaniv and Sarit Wainer! Your spotting was featured as Project Noah's Fact of the Day: "This terrific photo of a great white shark makes many of us dream of being a marine biologist! Are you one of those? Want to know what it is like in the day of a marine biologist, check out our blog by marine biologist Sam Craven".


The cage took off a bit of the fear, but it was scary nevertheless.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 9 years ago

OMG Industrial-strength scariness!! I saw a great white's fin near fishing boats in Hermanus many years ago. That was close enough. I would die on the spot if I saw this coming for me. Great pics and spotting.

Western Cape, South Africa

Spotted on Nov 2, 2010
Submitted on Nov 14, 2014

Spotted for Mission

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