Great White Sharks

I know what you’re thinking. It’s another blog post about how great whites aren’t all that bad, and that they just have a bad rep, and that they are just big fish with teeth (ok, I basically just described my other post, Don’t Fear the Fin). But I’m going to start the post a little differently than some of my others. Truth to be told, great whites can be scary. I mean, if I was diving and I saw one, I probably would be pretty scared. But, if you think about it, great whites are some really cool creatures. I would also be really amazed if I saw one in person.

Ok, now it’s time for the facts. Great whites are called great whites because their bellies are, well, can you guess? White. The color of their body helps them camouflage! Some sea animals don’t have very good vision, so from above, a great white’s gray top will look like water, and from below, their bellies look like sunlight! Great whites have been around for about 400,000 million years, and counting! They are also found in every ocean, except the cold waters of Antartica. It is said that great whites are the most dangerous sharks, but the bull shark and tiger shark aren’t far behind. Great whites can have from 50 to 300 teeth at one time. Their teeth are in rows, unlike most animals, so when one falls out, another one replaces it! They are the largest predatory fish on earth.  

Rumors; True or False?

  1. Can great whites smell a drop of blood from a mile away?

This is one of the most common rumors I have heard about great whites. Unfortunately, no, they can’t. They can smell blood from three miles away!

  1. Do sharks have a sixth sense?

Yes! This sense allows them to sense electromagnetic fields, helping them find prey.

  1. Do great whites have glow in the dark eyes?

Yes, they do. Most sharks hunt at night, so their eyes are also another factor that help them find prey.

  1. Is a great white’s blood toxic?

Not to scare you, but they have highly toxic blood. It can kill most animals, but great white’s have adapted to it.

  1. Can great white’s jump?

Great white’s can jump out of the water up to 10 feet. This is called breaching.

  1. Are great white’s born to hunt?

Yep. As soon as they are born, they are ready to start hunting.

  1. Do great white’s attack humans often?

NO! In fact, you are more likely to be struck by lighting than attacked by one.

Why do they attack humans? Well, researchers have found that often, when sharks attack, they feel either threatened or confused. They often take a “test bite”, and, thankfully, since humans don’t taste very good, they usually go away. Studies also show that sharks often mistake surfers for seals, which are a great white’s favorite meal. Really, great whites don’t have a thirst for human blood!

Great whites are pretty cool, if you ask me.  The sad part is, though, that they are labeled vulnerable. This means that they are at risk of being extinct. Yeah, it would probably be nice to be able to swim at the beach without worrying about great whites, but it would throw the entire ocean ecosystem off. Great white sharks eat a large number of fish, a lot of seals, and even some smaller sharks. If they go extinct, fish and seal populations will spike, and that could lead to a scarcity of the food they eat. Then the fish and seal numbers would start decreasing. Do you see where I’m going with this? It is essential that the great whites don’t go extinct. Comment down below on any rumors you’ve heard about great whites and are wondering if they are true. What do you think of great whites now?

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