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The Great White Shark

Perhaps the most feared animal in the world, the Great White Shark is the undisputed king of the ocean. A natural born hunter, this fish combines pace, power and precision to become a fearsome creature. However, does this animal’s reputation precede it? Is it really the terrifying fish of nightmares we all should be scared of?

flickr | Elias LevyFact file
Size: 15-20ft
Weight: 5,000lbs or more!
Diet: Carnivore
Special Skill: Can detect a drop of blood from up to 3 miles away!

The Great White is an animal which has featured heavily in wildlife documentaries all over the world. But why? Perhaps it has something to do with its glorification in Hollywood, with ‘Jaws’ shining the spotlight on the animal’s gruesome potential. Or maybe it’s because people are simply mesmerised by the creature’s magnificence. It’s mastered its habitat perfectly and has cemented itself as the apex predator. True, this fish can cause a lot of damage but it would be wrong to assume they are mere mindless killers, it simply isn’t the case!

flickr | Lwp KommunikációHabitat
Found in the cooler waters on the world, this beast of the ocean can be seen all over earth, usually off coastal regions. The sharks tend to stalk the waters which are full of their staple diet, seals. Therefore, places such as California and off the coast of South Africa are perhaps the most famous Great White hang outs. When the waters get to hot, the warm-blooded Great Whites are in danger of over-heating so they tend to stick to stick to more temperate waters.

This fish is made for hunting. Its sheer size and sharp teeth should be enough to demonstrate that. However, these animals are finely tuned and rely on much more than brute force to catch their prey. Great Whites have an impressive set of senses which can detect a drop of your blood from 3 miles away! The blood indicates to the shark that weakened prey is on the menu and it will navigate itself in its direction with amazing precision.

flickr | Lwp KommunikációTheir bodies are shaped like giant torpedoes and they come equipped with a powerful tail which propels them from the water. This tail is the reason behind the most impressive display of power in the whole natural world. The sight of a Great White breaching the water, whilst ambushing their prey from beneath, is a magnificent display of power. To propel their heavy bodies out of the water at such speed requires incredible strength and leaves their prey more than just a little surprised!  
Finally, we come to the infamous teeth. The sight of an open-mouthed Great White coming towards you is the stuff of nightmares and no wonder! The fish’s mouth is lined with as many as 300 serrated teeth which can cut through meat like it wasn’t there. This, along with their powerful bite, is totally necessary since their chosen prey tends to be seals, sea lions and even turtles, all of which have tough exteriors!

Their Future
There is very little danger of the fish ever being toppled from the top of the food chain. So, in that sense, you’d think the future of the Great White was positive. However, probably because of its prestige, the sharks are vulnerable to human hunting. They are poached for their fins and teeth as well as proving a popular trophy catch for fisherman. The commercial fishing industry is also prone to inflicting harm to the population numbers. Sharks are drawn to the big nets of fish before becoming entangled in the nets. Overall, the animal is listed as endangered and scientists are keen to understand more about this wonderful creature. With more information, conservation efforts can be tailored to truly secure the future of the Great White Shark.

pixabay | skeezeFrontier can offer a wide range of projects which are dedicated to conserving the natural habitats of marine life. Or perhaps, as you love sharks so much, you would prefer our shark specific projects in Fiji, Tanzania and Mozambique!

Ben Church

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