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Great White Sharks
The most famous story about a great white shark is
Jaws. The story tells how a savage great white shark killed and
frightened people on the beaches of New England. Great white sharks
are the most dangerous of all sharks. It is said that they are
designed only for killing. Luckily great white sharks are not
as common as other less harmful sharks.
How They Look
Great white sharks have brownish gray backs with pale
gray or white undersides. Their pectoral fins are tipped with
black. The average female great white shark grows about 15 feet
long. Female sharks are usually bigger than males. The largest
great white shark known was nearly 30 feet long. It would have
weighed about 4 tons.
Where They Live
Great white sharks live in the warm seas. In the summer
they can be found in the more northern areas of the Atlantic Ocean
like New England and New Jersey. In the winter these great white
sharks migrate south along the eastern seaboard to the Gulf of
Mexico and the South Atlantic Ocean. Great whites can be found
in the warm shallow bays in many countries.
What They Eat
All sharks are carnivorous or flesh eating. Great white
sharks will eat almost any kind of flesh, whether alive or dead.
They eat larger fish, seals, sea lions, turtles and even dead
whales. Two whole seal lions were found inside the body of one
16 foot shark. Many great whites are found all the coast of California,
where there are sea lion colonies on which they can prey for food.
Their Jaws and Teeth
Great white sharks have very stron jaws and huge teeth.
The teeth in the shark's upper jaws are triangular and can grow
up to 3 inches long. The teeth are narrower in the lower jaws.
Each tooth has serrated edges like a saw which makes them doubly
It is thought that great white sharks are responsible
for about 4 in 10 shark attacks on humans. They attack more often
than any other shark.
How They Attack
Almost no one who has been attacked by a great white
shark saw the fish coming. The first thing they knew was that
a part of their body had been snatched by a shark. Some sharks
circle their prey before an attack, but the great white shark
moves in quickly and without warning. With the first strike it
will disable its prey. With the next, it seeks to kill and eat
Avoiding Shark Attacks
The risk of shark attack is very low. Nevertheless,
you can reduce even further your chances of being attacked by
how you act. You should never swim at the beaches where sharks
are common. Do not swim alone especially at dusk or after dark
when the sharks are feeding. Do not wear bright jewelry or watches
in the water. Never swim with an open wound. The blood will attract
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