These massive predators reach lengths of 6 m long and weigh up to 3000 kg (McGouther, 2008). Female great white sharks tend to be larger than male great white sharks, who only reach lengths of approximately 4 m (Compagno, Dando and Fowler, 2005). The massive bodies of great white sharks are streamlined and powerful to generate bursts of speed. Their snouts are narrowed and somewhat pointed, and their eyes are onyx in color. These white bellied sharks have crescent shaped tails with long, nearly-symmetrical upper and lower lobes. The color of the dorsal side varies, dark gray to light gray. Great white sharks have a caudal fin and paired dorsal and pectoral fins that help to propel them through the water. The mouths of great white sharks are 0.9 to 1.2 m wide and the upper and bottom teeth work together when handling prey with the bottom teeth keeping the prey in place while the upper teeth tear into the flesh. Great white sharks are endothermic, generating body heat through metabolism (MarineBio, 2009). ("Great White Shark: Predator of the Deep", 2008; "MarineBio", 2009; Compagno, Dando, and Fowler, 2005; McGrouther, 2008)
Other Physical Features: Endothermic; Bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: Female larger
- Compagno, L., M. Dando, S. Fowler. 2005. Sharks of the World. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.