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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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Where does the name "white" shark come from?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 |  0 Comment

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!"

White sharks are colored in a way described as “counter shading,” which is common for many species of marine animals.  This is a type of camoflage   While the top of a white shark can be gray (or brownish, or black or light gray...more on this in another shark fact blog!), their bellies are clean white.  But how does having a white belly camolage a white shark? Animals looking down into the deep cannot see a shark from above as the dark shade blends in with the ocean floor and animals below a shark looking up cannot see a shark because the white belly blends in with the sunny surface of the water.  So next time you see a white shark, a penguin, or an Orca, you know what the story is behind their coloration!

Now why can't Cape fur seals figure this out?



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