The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) has a fearsome reputation, thanks largely to Peter Banchley's novel Jaws and the series of films based on it. It is the largest predatory fish around, though reports of 10mm monsters are probably just sailors' yarns, and it accounts for about 5-10 human deaths every year. However, the shark has far more to fear from us. We catch it for the prize of its awesome teeth and jaws, we turn its fins into soup and its skin into handbags, squeeze its liver for oil, and use the carcass for fish meal.

Considering its renown, remarkably little is known about the great white shark. Its reproductive system is not fully understood, we do not know how long it lives, and we cannot be sure why it occasionally attacks humans. One thing is certain - it is not interested in eating us. It does not make a meal of its human victims, preferring fish and marine mammals with plenty of nutritious blubber.

Gallery Edit

ARKive photos and videos of the great white shark

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