Photograph by Stephen Frink

What Do Great White Sharks Weigh

Measuring the accurate great white shark weight for most specimens can be a difficult task, and larger great whites can be elusive as they typically spend most of their time at depths of more than 400 meters. Throughout the years, scientists have captured and measured several large specimens of great whites, some of which weighed several tons, while measuring more than 12 feet in length.

According to great white shark weight measurements performed on many individuals caught in the past few decades, great whites can measure anything from 1-2 meter long juveniles, to huge 6-meter, 4,000-pound adult specimens. On average, males are estimated to measure about 4 meters in length with weights of over 1,500-2,000 lbs., while females are larger by about a meter and weighing up to 2,500 lbs. Since great whites can live for up to 70 years and feed on large mammals, they are estimated to be capable of much more impressive growth rates as well.

Many people believe that great white sharks are the largest in their family. The largest species of shark, however, is the whale shark. The difference is not as big as some might believe, what with the largest whale sharks measuring 12-14 meters in length and weighing up to 20 tons not being uncommon. Great white sharks, however, are built to be tougher and more resilient, their razor sharp teeth and remarkable agility making them one capable of feeding on large marine mammals and fish.

One of the major problem in pinpointing the exact size and weight of a shark is that these creatures are made largely of water. As a result, larger specimens can dry out if captured and held outside a tank. One of the largest great whites ever caught was a 23-foot individual shark found off the coast of Malta, in the Mediterranean, in 1987. However, the specimen’s size and weight were seen as exaggerated by the scientific community. Another case was that of a great white of “mythical” proportions claimed to have eaten a large, 12-foot member of its own species in South Africa. A more relevant case was that of an accurately measured 20-foot female found close to Canada’s Prince Edward Island. Great white shark weight measurement data showed that the specimen weighed about 4,300 lbs.

Blane Perun

Diver - Photographer - Traveler

Whale in Ocean