Great white shark habitat
The white shark is distributed in most of the oceanic waters, with the exception of cold areas such as the Arctic or the Antarctic. Its wide distribution is due to being nomadic animals.
Description of the species
Surprising their size, they measure between 4 to 5 m, although there are larger specimens. Its color is grayish, white in the lower part, in advanced age they noticeably clear the gray color and they remain with a whitish appearance, for that reason it is called white shark, also due to the existence of albino specimens. His skeleton is cartilaginous. The mouth is curved, it is large and has a very developed dentition. Its body is robust and strong, rounded snout, narrow nostril, small rounded eyes.
Its skin is quite rough, with hard scales, called dermal denticles because of its sharp shape. The color of the great white shark is only white in the belly area, gray or bluish in the dorsal areas. This aspect helps you to get confused with sunlight or with dark marine waters, depending on how you look at it, for its camouflage. It also has some black at the ends of the scapular fins and the area of the armpits.
Its nose is pointed and thick, but short and its mouth is large, somewhat arched. You should keep it ajar to breathe, since not having opercula the correct passage of water, or swim bladder, would drown. Its large serrated teeth are triangular and very wide, with a whole row of teeth to grasp, cut and tear. Behind the two main ones, it has two more growing rows, continuously replacing its teeth, which are shaped like an arrowhead. During the attack to its prey, the jaws of the great white shark open until deforming the head, because its jaw projects and closes with a force 300 times bigger than that of a human jaw.
His nostrils are very narrow, and his eyes are small and black. Its sides have five gill slits, two triangular-shaped pectoral fins, in addition to two smaller fins near the caudal fin, which is large, just like the great dorsal fin of its back. Finally, it has two other small fins near the tail. The great white shark possesses a very powerful sense of smell, so that it smells blood miles away, making it much more aggressive.
Although its view is well developed, what stand out most are its nerve endings, very sharp at the front end, which serve to detect the least vibration that has occurred in the water and guide it to its prey. It also has other receptors near the nostrils to capture the variable frequency electric fields, to orient themselves in their long migrations.
It is a solitary species. He has been seen in pairs or in small groups, especially to travel for food, which makes him travel hundreds of kilometers. His attacks occur at dawn or dusk, because he is seen less in the depth. His only known enemy is the killer whale. Despite the legends, attacks on humans are rare.
It is a nomadic animal; Some specimens choose to feed in coastal areas, as in California, South Africa and, especially, Australia. It is usually kept at a distance from the coast and approaches to feed itself, when there is a concentration of coastal animals. It remains close to the surface; sometimes it goes down to a kilometer in depth.
It inhabits the areas of continental shelf and near the coasts, by the abundance of light and marine currents, which attracts a greater concentration of animal life, for its food. It does not live in the cold Arctic and Antarctic oceans, despite its great abundance in plankton, fish and marine mammals.
The zones with more presence: the Lesser Antilles, the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast of the United States, the coastal strip of Patagonia and the Pacific coast of North and South America. Hawaii, Tasmania and New Zealand, all the Asian coast, South Africa, the coastal area from Senegal to England, and also the Mediterranean and Red seas.
The great white shark reproduces little and in temperate waters, during spring or summer. It usually has 4 to 10 eggs, which remain in the uterus until hatching and give offspring 12 dm long; they move away from their mother to avoid being devoured by this one. They grow very fast and reach 2 m in the first year of life. The organs of the males are extensions of the pelvic fins.
The usual diet of the great white shark includes all kinds of fish, turtles and squid. However, it can feed on almost everything, such as seabirds and even other sharks and small whales. It also consumes carrion, from drifting whale carcasses, from which they tear and gobble up large pieces.
The diet of Pacific adults is of marine mammals (seals and dolphins), which they capture by ambushes. There they are swallowed whole or, if they are large, pieces.
In the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic coast of Africa and Europe, the white shark usually feed on bluefin tuna.