The Great White Shark is one of the world's greatest predators, and while films such as 'Jaws' would lead you to believe that the risk of a shark attack is assured as soon as you put your foot in the water there are only on average 100 shark attacks reported worldwide each year.

Great white shark facts
Be that as it may, of all the shark species, the great white shark is by far responsible for the largest number of fatal unprovoked attacks on humans.

There are no accurate global population numbers available for the great white shark but they are considered vulnerable species. The decline of this species is believed to be from sport fishing harvests as well as being caught in beach protection netting. Sadly, the long interval between birth and sexual maturity means that it is difficult for Great White shark populations to recover.

1. The great white shark is an apex predator and has no natural predators.

2. Great white sharks is one of the longest lived cartilaginous fish currently known, now estimated to live as long as 70 years or more.

Great white shark facts
3. The great white shark is known for its size, with mature individuals growing up to 21 ft in length. However, reports have been published of great white sharks measuring over 26 ft!

4. The great white shark evolved during the mid-Miocene epoch. with its earliest known fossils being about 16 million years old.

5. Great white sharks live in almost all coastal and offshore waters which have water temperature between 12 and 24 ° Celsius. There are greater concentrations of the great white shark in the United States, South Africa, Japan, Oceania, Chile, and the Mediterranean.

6. A great white shark of more than 20 ft long can exert a bite force of over 18,000 newtons or 4,000 lbs force.

7. Great white sharks have special sensing organs called electroreceptors which enables them to detect the electromagnetic field emitted by the movement of living animals. If it is close enough, the shark can even detect the very faint electrical pulse given off by a beating heart!

Great white shark facts
8. Great white sharks are carnivorous and prey upon fish such as tuna, rays, and even other sharks. They will also take dolphins, porpoises, whales, seals, fur seals, sea lions), sea turtles, sea otters, and seabirds. Great white sharks have also been known to eat objects that they are unable to digest.

9. Prior to August 1981, no great white shark in captivity lived longer than 11 days. In August 1981, a white shark survived for 16 days at SeaWorld San Diego but then it was released.

10. To hunt fast and agile prey such as sea lions, the great white has adapted to maintain a body temperature warmer than the surrounding water. It is able to conserve heat within the body by warming the cooler arterial blood with the venous blood that has been warmed by the working muscles. This allows the shark to keep certain parts of the body, such as its stomach, at temperatures of up to 14 °Celsius higher that of the surrounding water.

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For related articles click onto the following links:
Great White Shark Facts
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Peacock Facts

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