When looking at the most significant facts about great white sharks – also known as white pointers or white sharks – scientists have uncovered many uncommon facts that can be of great interest when it comes to understanding great whites from a scientific point of view. Did you know great white attacks are much less frequent than mainstream media would admit? Also, another curious fact about these creatures is that that they are so sensitive they can detect immobile, hidden marine animals simply by sensing their heartbeats. Their anatomy and uncommon development makes great white sharks the strongest and most dangerous predators in the ocean.
One of the most interesting facts about these fierce sea creatures is that females are generally larger than the males of the species – a developmental process known as sexual dimorphism. Some females can grow to sizes of up to 4.8 meters in length, while males are smaller. The largest sharks are estimated to measure more than 6 meters in length, although the exact measurements are subject to speculation since only captured sharks could be measured precisely. Finally, even though the great white shark is known to be the largest predatory fish in the sea, several other species are actually larger on average: the whale shark, the basking shark and the giant manta ray.
The bite force of great white sharks has been subject to study and speculation for decades, and represents one of the most significant facts about great white sharks debated by scientists. In a 2007 study conducted by the University of New South Wales in Australia, an accurate CT scan of a shark’s skull was used to measure the bite force of great whites. The results showed that the shark would be capable of exerting a force of about 4,095 lbs. per foot (or more than 18,000 Newtons) – enough to lift about 20 full-grown adults with relative ease.
The diet of the great white shark is extremely diverse, and, surprisingly enough, it doesn’t usually include humans. Most commonly, great whites feed on fish such as tuna, rays or other sharks – even other great whites – and they also have a healthy appetite for seals and other pinnipeds, seabirds, sea otters and even larger cetaceans such as dolphins and some species of whales. One of the more intriguing facts about great white sharks and their feeding habits is that whale carcasses make up an important part of their diet, and it is also estimated that sexually mature individuals sometimes use whale carcasses as a meeting place for mating – so romantic!