Great White Shark

Aron Ramiscal Period 8 5/16/16

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Habitat

Great White Sharks are found in temperate parts of oceans or seas, ranging from between 54 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, or 12 to 24 degrees Celsius. They live off the coasts of North America, southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Chile, and parts of the Mediterranean Sea. But the most populated part of Ocean that you can find these sharks, are the Dyer Islands in Africa, which makes it a great place to study and experiment these predatory sharks (Great White Shark' Habitats). It is rare to find them in tropical or cold climates (Great White Sharks 5).
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Movement

Great White Sharks are fast swimmers, with big pectoral fins and an almost symmetrical tail fin (White Shark). They have other types of fins, such as the caudal fin, which helps the shark to propel in the water, the anal fin, dorsal fin, which helps the shark swim stable in the water, and the pectoral fins, the fins on the sides of the body, which lifts the shark while swimming and counterweights the caudal fin, making it swim horizontally. And since they have rounded bodies and taper at both ends, they don't have to use much energy to swim (Sharks 5). To sometimes track sharks, scientists us a technique called "tracking". They put a tracker on a rod, then wait for the shark to come. When the shark comes really close to the boat, they stick the rod into the shark, and the tracker falls off and into the shark, and then they can track the shark .
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Body Covering

A shark's skin covering has many characteristics that are fascinating. Dermal denticles are what gives the shark the rough texture, and that's where people got the idea of sandpaper. The skin is so rough, however, that animals that bristle by it can be badly injured. These scales sometimes represent small teeth, but are actually placoid scales. The scales are placed in a mosaic pattern that surrounds the body of the shark like a helix. The shark's scales give it the grey color, with the bottom being darker. The picture below shows an example of the scales (Shark 4). But these scales also help with swimming. Further research has indicated that the scales push the water down so it gives less drag, and the shark can swim correctly. It is also said that sharks' ancestors developed its skin way before they even grew teeth (White Shark 3). The shark also uses camouflage when swimming. Since the shark lives in dark depths of the ocean, when you look above, you can't really see the shark, and when you look from below, the lighter surface of the water when viewed from below shows that there is almost nothing (Great White Sharks 7).
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Diet

Sharks are carnivores so they eat meat (Sharks 2). They also eat almost everything, including sea lions, dolphins, large fish, and, their favorite, seals (Great White Shark 4). When a Great White Shark finds its prey, however, the following happen:
  • The shark's nose is lifted
  • The lower jaw drops
  • The upper jaw is pushed and the teeth are exposed
  • The lower jaw is pushed forward and then upward, and then the teeth puncture the prey
  • The upper jaw is snapped shut and it eats it prey (Dawes, 84)

When they eat their prey, however, they don't just chew small bites, they chew and then swallows chunks of it at a time with their 3 rows of teeth (Great White Sharks 5). It is possible for them to survive without food for 2 months (Great White Sharks 5).

Reproduction

During mating, it is said that males bite females so they can stay still. After fertilization, the embryos are released into a chamber that acts like a womb or uterus. There in the chamber they develop and grow, and feed off of the egg yolk that was released from the mother's uterine chamber (Dawes, 84). Sharks are oviparous, which means that the eggs hatch inside the female so that the young are born live (Great White). Great White Sharks give birth to at least 10 pups, or baby sharks (Shark). But once the mothers give birth to the pups, they swim away and are on their own from then on. Weirdly, but because sharks are predators, they only see their own pups as prey. Sadly, baby great white sharks are at the top of the food chain, so they have to avoid other predators their first couple years. Some don't even survive their first year. But the more it grows, the more it can withstand other things, and its diet becomes even bigger (Great White Sharks 3). When female sharks are mature enough, they grow up to 16 feet (4.6 m) in length, whereas male sharks grow up to 13 feet (3.6 m) in length (Dawes, 84).
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Adaptations

Great White Sharks are warm-blooded so they can live in the water (Great White Shark 6). And because it's warm-blooded, it can swim fast. And because of its fast swimming, its a bad predator that eats anything in its way (Sattler, 57). They also, weirdly, have a sixth sense, thanks to the Ampullae of Lorenzini, which lets them detect the electromagnetic field which is emitted from the animals around it. Their eyesight is useful, but sharks don't usually depend on it. They instead use their other sense, electrosense and mechanosense, to hunt for their prey. They then mostly use their smelling and hearing sense to further hunt their prey. They then use their eyesight when they're closer to their prey. They even sometimes like to use their "ambush" technique, which is when they attack from underneath. This the only shark that uses something called "spy-hopping". To look at the surroundings from above, a shark uses spy-hopping to see the surroundings from above. It is also believed that this shark uses this technique to also smell better, since smells travel faster through air than water (Great White Sharks 10). They also have other techniques such as the "hit-and-run", and the "bump-and-bite". The "hit-and-run" technique is one of the most common techniques. The hit-and-run technique is when a shark sees a swimmer's foot, thinks that it is a fish, take a bite of the foot, and, realizing that it isn't a fish, runs away. But the bump-and-bite technique is the most serious of all techniques. One day, triathlon competitor Chuck Anderson was training for the triathlon off of the coast of Gulf Shores, Al., when a shark bumped him. The shark was testing if he was worthy to attack, and he was. The shark repeatedly attacked Chuck, and he lost an arm that day (Why can't we be friends).
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Other Info

  • Older than dinosaurs (Great White Shark 2)
  • They are slower than an average car (Great White Shark 3)
  • Their conservation status is vulnerable (Great White Shark 2)
  • Carcharodon Carcharius: their scientific name (Great White Shark 3)
  • Their group name is called a slew or a sliver (Shark)
  • They weigh as much as 8,000 lbs. (Carcharodon Carcharius)
  • Other names are white pointer, Blue pointer, man-eater, Tommy, death shark, uptail, and white death (Dawes, 84)
  • Their teeth were used as arrowheads by Native Americans on the Florida coast (White Shark 2)
  • Many things can be used as shark repellents, such as maleic acid (C4H4O4), copper sulfate (CuSO4), and decaying shark flesh (Shark 3)
  • 1 out of 440 sharks in the world

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