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Scientific name: Charcharodon cancharias
Common name: Great white shark
Phyulm Sub Phylum Class Sub Class Order Sub Order Family Sub Family Genus Species
Chordata Vertebrata Chonrichthyes Elasmobranchi Lamniformes Not Defined Lamnidae Not Defined Charcharodon Charcharodon cancharias


Short Description:

 he great white shark has a robust large conical snout. The upper and lower lobes on the tail fin are approximately the same size (like most mackerel sharks, but unlike most others)
Great whites display countershading, having a white underside and a grey dorsal area (sometimes in a brown or blue shade) that gives an overall "mottled" appearance. The coloration makes it difficult for prey to spot the shark because it breaks up the shark's outline when seen from the side. From above, the darker shade blends with the sea and from below it exposes a minimal silhouette against the sunlight.
Great white sharks, like many other sharks, have rows of serrated teeth behind the main ones, ready to replace any that break off.


Dorsal spines (total): 0; Anal spines: 0. A huge, spindle-shaped shark with conspicuous black eyes, a blunt, conical snout and large, triangular, saw-edged teeth . First dorsal-fin origin usually over the pectoral-fin inner margins . Caudal fin crescentic. Lead-grey to brown or black above, lighter on sides, and abruptly white below  Black spot at rear pectoral fin base  

Size: 6 metres  in length and 2,240 kilograms  
Behaviour: Great white sharks have a dominance hierarchy depending on size, sex and squatter's rights: Females dominate males, larger sharks dominate smaller sharks, and residents dominate newcomers. When hunting, great whites tend to separate and resolve conflicts with rituals and displays.
Diet: Great white sharks are carnivorous, and prey upon fish (e.g. tuna, rays, other sharks, cetaceans (i.e., dolphins, porpoises, whales), pinnipeds (e.g. seals, fur seals,[and sea lions), sea turtles, sea otters, and seabirds. Great whites have also been known to eat objects that they are unable to digest. Upon approaching a length of nearly 4 metres , great white shark begins to predominantely target marine mammals for food 
Distribution: Great white sharks live in almost all coastal and offshore waters which have water temperature between 12 and 24 °C 
Depth: 0 - 1280 m , usually 0 - 250 m
Habitat: Pelagic-oceanic; oceanodromous
Similar Species:
  • None on database

Database Statistics
(Click on the links for more information)
Photographer Date City Area Dive site Temp Size Depth Camera Photo Video
Lloyd Edwards-(Port Elizabeth) 2008-12-18 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE)-Port Elizabeth General Coastline 18 2000mm 1m Nikon D200 photo
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eastern cape scuba diving