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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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Are White Sharks "warm-blooded" or "cold-blooded"?

Wednesday, February 29, 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 part of the fish family, so they must be 'cold-blooded', right?  Actually, white sharks are much more complex than you may think

An animal that is 'cold-blooded' means their inside body temperature is dependent on the environment they are in.
For example, a snake is cold blooded, so its body temperature fluctuates with the day or even whether or not they are in the sun. That is why on chilly days, you can often find snakes sunning themselves, literally charging up their body temperature.
Us humans are 'warm blooded' which means we have a stable body temperature (37 C°) regardless of what the weather is doing outside. We maintain this with a much higher metabolism (we have to eat many times a day, whereas a snake can go days without eating). 



White sharks are "lamnid sharks" which have a unique system called a 'counter current heat exchange,' keeping their body warmer than the outside conditions by +/- 10-15 C°. So if a white shark is in 9 C° water, its body temperature will be +/- 19-24 C° and so on.
The generator of all this heat comes from the long muscles running down the length of their bodies, which charge a core of 'white muscle' ready for quick bursts of energy even in cold environments, which is why they are the apex predator of our temperate seas. We call this, “heterothermy”. Why would a white shark need a built in turbo booster? Well...

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