Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
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© 2000 by Image Quest 3-D
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Photograph by Brandon Cole/V & W

(PHYLUM: Chordata, CLASS: Chondrichthyes, ORDER: Lamniformes , FAMILY: Lamnidae)

 

The Great White Shark, also known as 'White Death', or 'White Pointer' is blamed for more attacks on humans than any other shark. This formidable beast is often refered to as a 'man-eater' partly due to the media coverage that surrounded and followed the release of 'JAWS' the film. In reality, according to the International Shark Attack File, there have only been 311 human deaths attributed to Great White Shark attacks since records began.

A powerful swimmer, this shark cruises through the open ocean with sideways beats of its tail, either at the water surface or just off the sea bed, covering long distances very quickly. However, it can also put on tremendous spurts of speed for short chases and may leap, spectacularly, out of the water. It is a member of the Mackeral Shark Family and can maintain its muscles at a high temperature, enabling it to swim more efficiently. These creatures are usually solitary, although it may be seen in pairs or small groups feeding at a carcass, with the larger individuals feeding first, due to dominance hierarchy. This creature, as it's common name implies, is a ferocious predator, attacking any large prey it can catch, although primarily feeding upon seals, sea lions, dolphins and large fish. The predation technique is to commence with incredible ferocity, then retreat while the victim weakens, then return and feed in safety. It's larger, triangular, serrated teth are perfect for ripping into the prey's flesh.

 

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2001 by Image Quest 3-D
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