When discussing deadly predators, our focus often shifts towards the ones walking on surface, but we shouldn’t forget the ones swimming deep in our oceans and seas. And if we are interested in the deadly swimming predators, we have to discuss the great white sharks. We have to discuss 15 Unbelievable Facts About The Great White Sharks.
- The great whites are the largest predatory fishes on Earth. They average 4.5 m or 15 feet in length, but some have been recorded as large as 6 m or 20 feet long. And they can weigh up to 2250 kg or 5000 pounds!
- The great white sharks get their name from their white underbellies. Their also have a streamlined shape and very powerful tails that propel them though water, often at the speed of 60 km or 37 miles per hour.
- These ocean-dwelling predators have 300 sharp, triangular teeth arranged in up to seven rows and a bite force of about 669 pounds per square inch. That is a very powerful bite designed to sink the many sharp teeth into their prey.
- Sharks have tremendous smell, too. They can smell a colony of seal about 3.2 kilometers or 2 miles away. They can actually smell a single drop of blood in 100 liters of water.
- Here’s something that applies to all sharks, nut just the great whites, but is nonetheless astonishing. Sharks have no bones. They have cartilages and connective tissues instead of a skeleton.
- The great whites tend to live in warm water all around the world, but have, occasionally, been seen in cold waters.
- These carnivores are great predators who often stalk their prey by swimming underneath it and then quickly swim upwards and bite it.
- Unfortunately, not much is known about the mating habits of the great whites, but what is known is that their females tend to give birth to 2 to 10 offspring called “pups”. But they don’t take care of them at all. In fact, they sometimes eat them. And if they don’t pups simply swim away and begin hunting.
- Young great white feed on small fishes and rays. As they get older and bigger they usually like to feed on mammals like sea lions, seals and small whales.
- Great white are generally considered to be at the top of the food chain, but they sometime do encounter threats like orkas and larger sharks that can kill them. And of course fishermen.
- In fact, the great whites are so aggressive, that they embrios are known to attack each other. The largest embyo tends to eat the smaller ones. This phenomena is known as intrauterine cannibalism .
- Sharks have something that you might call “the sixth sense”. They can detect small electrical fields that other animals produce using tiny organs known as ampullae of Lorenzini.
- Many protect their eyeballs with a pair of clear lid structures called nictitating membranes, which act like protective, transparent eyelids. But not the great whites. Their eyeballs roll backwards into the skull reflexively when a shark bites into a thrashing victim. So to them, eye-rolling is a defensive mechanism.
- In contrary to the popular belief – great whites, as well as other sharks, can and sometimes do get cancer. This myth that their cartilage contains anti-cancerous properties has led to thousands of these sharks being hunted and killed.
- They can’t be held in captivity. At least not for long. All attempts to place the great whites in aquariums resulted in them dying days or weeks later. That’s largely because to breathe they need to always be moving so that water flows through their gills and aquariums often don’t offer enough space for them.
And that’s about it, for now. Great white are some of the most scariest predators and possible the most dangerous sharks, that’s why there’s so much talk about them. They are amazingly adapted to hunt their prey and not just survive, but thrive in the oceans. And that concludes this 15 Unbelievable Facts About The Great White Sharks article.