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White Shark

Carcharodon carcharias

FAMILY: Lamnidae

ALSO KNOWN AS: great white shark

CONSERVATION STATUS: Vulnerable (worldwide)

RANGE: Worldwide

LENGTH: 640 cm (approx. 21 feet) total length

WEIGHT: 3200 kg (7054.8 lbs)

Illustration ©Marc Dando

Photograph ©Tomas Koeck


RANGE: Found worldwide in temperate to tropical waters.

HABITAT: Known to enter the surf zone. Frequently encountered over the continental shelf as well as offshore. Long periods of time spent in the open ocean while where it travels at depths between 0 and 1200 meters.


Great white shark range

IDENTIFICATION: Heavy-bodied shark dark grey to brown above with sharp transition to a white underside. Triangular teeth are large, flat, and serrated. Juveniles have small cusplets on either side of the main cusp of the tooth. Large first dorsal, much smaller second dorsal fin. At the surface, Makos and Porbeagle sharks may be mistaken for White Sharks or vice versa.


INTERESTING FACTSAdults are known for feeding on marine mammals, and occasionally biting humans. Juveniles consume a range of prey from fishes to smaller sharks. Regionally endothermic, maintaining a body temp 26 F above ambient water temperature. In aggregations or during group foraging, known to display social behaviors with a size-based hierarchy.


White Sharks are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, as Vulnerable.

Source: IUCN

Support White Shark Research!

Donating to the Atlantic Shark Institute helps support crucial shark research.

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