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  • In Gansbaai, the largest white shark ever caught was at Danger Point and measured up to 5.9m. The exact world record white shark is a contested issue, but chances are it is between 6-7m.

  • If you see a white shark in the water don’t panic. Chances are high that the shark has already detected you and isn’t interested. White shark attacks are normally associated with poor visibility, so avoid murky conditions.

  • White sharks have a unique system called a “counter current heat exchange”, which keeps their body  tempreture +/- 7C above the surrounding water temperature. 

  • All sharks have an incredibly unique system on the tip of their nose called the “ampillae of Lorenzini”. These are small pores filled with a gel that transmits the electrical currents in the water to the shark’s brain so that it can assess its environment.

  • White sharks give birth to live young (not eggs), and they give birth to 6-8 pups at one time. Pups are usually between 1.0-1.5m in length and are born with teeth.

  • Body language has been a well documented form of shark communication and has identified body arching, jaw gaping, and other postures as specific social tactics.

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Can white sharks smell a drop of blood?

Monday, April 16, 2012 |  0 Comment Tags: blood and sharks,

Author: Michelle Wcisel (Marine Biologist)
To Michelle, a born and bred American from Michigan, the sea resembles another planet within Earth where intelligent "extraterrestrial" beings and thriving systems flourish in the depths where there is neither oxygen nor sunlight. "So many of us gaze at the stars in wonder when we should be looking into our oceans!"

Is it true that white sharks can smell a drop of human blood from 100km away?  As a cage diving operator, we wish it were true!  If that were the case, we could save a lot of money by not having to buy chum products, but this simply is not true.  We chum white sharks using highly concentrated oils from fish.  Even with this potent mix, if the chum slick is not going in the right direction (towards areas of shark congregation), you won’t see any sharks. 

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust team has tracked white sharks in chummy areas, and has found that if the shark is not near the chum slick, then they will not approach a boat.  They also found some sharks that even when swimming through a potent chum slick, they would not respond to it at all.  So even with a bay full of sharks, if your current isn't going in the right direction, you may end up with a long wait to see any!

Don't be confused by "Jaws facts"!

white sharks can smell a drop of human blood

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