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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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How big can great white sharks grow?

Saturday, June 02, 2012 |  1 Comment Tags: shark length, submarine,

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!"

There are many fishermen tales of shark lengths.  Several unconfirmed reports have talked of 7.0-9.0m great white sharks.  The infamous 6.0-7.0m False Bay white shark, dubbed "The Submarine" has a legend that stretches back to the 1970s.  But what are the facts? 

Undoubtly, large white sharks over 5.0m exist, but probably not close to shore where we are likely to see them.  Recent stomach content analysis of white sharks found that larger white sharks had large squid beaks in their stomachs.  Not seals.  So perhaps these large sharks head for the high seas rather than seal colonies.  "Once white sharks reach a certain size, we don't see them again," says Dyer Island Conservation Trust marine biologist, Oliver Jewell.  "We have many individuals that were close to 5.0m in length, and after a few years they don't come back.  We would like to think they are rather choosing to stay offshore."  DICT zoologist, Michelle Wcisel, takes an evoluntionary approach, "Sharks existed well before marine mammals, so it seems logical to me that their diet is more primordial.  Seals are probably a recent item to their diet in terms of their lineology." 

The largest white shark ever caught and accurately measured in South Africa was 5.9m in length.  This shark was caught off Danger Point of Gansbaai (not too far from our cage diving area!).  The world record white shark so far stands at the 6.8m white shark caught at Malta, Italy.  Yes, the Mediterranean Sea!

Get face to face with the great white shark, just book here and we will show you.
 

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