Dr. Patrick Hahn
10 February 2015
The great white shark is legendary for the fear that it installs in the human imagination, but they are far less dangerous than we perceive them to be in reality. The White shark is thought to be one of if not the most dangerous shark in the Ocean. The bloodthirsty image that Hollywood portrays the Great white to be is brought about by movies and television but most of all the movie series Jaws. Great White Shark attacks are rare, even though people swim in close proximity to them. The Great White is said to be the king of all sharks, and it’s one of the oldest, most adaptable creatures. Learning about sharks will be more helpful and learning how to avoid shark attacks because lack of knowledge about the white shark, leads the average person to think that the shark prays on humans and sharks rarely attack humans.
I have organized my paper into four main sections. In the first section I discuss the scientific classification of the white shark. In the second section I will talk about anatomy and appearance of the White Shark, which includes from the description of the White Shark color to the reproduction system and habits. In the third section I will go over the Ecology and behavior of the White Shark, the fourth and last section will cover the relationship of humans and the Great White.
Scientific Classification. “Carcharodon carcharias” known as the White Shark is part of the Animalia Kingdom. Animal is Latin for “having breath”. The White Shark is part of the Chordata Phylum, and the Chondrichthyes class. The Chondrichthyes or cartilaginous fishes, which have paired fins, scales, a jaw, a series of chambers in its heart, and a cartilage skeleton rather than bone. The order and family of the White Shark are lamnidae and Lamniformes.
The Anatomy and Appearance. The White shark is known for its torpedo-shaped body, its pitch black eyes, and a crescent-shaped tail fin that has a keel on each side. Great white sharks swim very stiff like a tuna. Great whites are thought to be one of the world's largest and most dangerous predatory fish. Though massive, the great white is not the biggest shark. This classification goes to the whale shark, which is not considered a predatory fish. The White Shark has an extremely complex circulatory system; they conserve body heat by swimming constantly, therefore the heat is distributed throughout the White Sharks body at a temperature that is higher than the surrounding water. This allows the shark to be more active in colder water.
Great White Sharks has a torpedo-shape body, which gives it superior swimming skills; aided by its powerful tail it can propel them at speeds of up to15 mph! The white sharks liver can take up 24% of their body weight, they also have the ability to lurch out of the water. The White Shark gets its name from its all-white belly, its dorsal fin color ranges from pale to a very dark gray but will vary depending on lighting, or watercolor, or visibility.
The White Sharks color scheme is actually useful in hunting its prey, it usually strikes its prey from below and the top color of the shark provides kind of a camouflage when blends in with the water, enabling it to approach the prey undetected. Great White Sharks are known for their teeth, its large mouth contains huge, sharp multiple rows of teeth, about 3,000 of them. When the shark moves in to bite its prey, its jaws extend forward as its head recedes back. The mechanics of the sharks bite is that the lower jaw strikes first, and then the upper jaw descends. Great Whites are thought to use its teeth in the same manner that we as humans use our hands. The White Sharks teeth have about ten to fifteen degrees of flex which makes its jaws like a pair of forceps. The average weight of the White Shark can be about 5,000 pounds or more, and one of the biggest White Sharks to be recorded on record was about 23 feet, and weighing more than 7,000 pounds, yet