Primarily a coastal and offshore inhabitant of continental and insular shelves, but may also occur off oceanic islands far from land (Ref. 247, 43278, 58302). Often close inshore to the surf line and even penetrates shallow bays (Ref. 247). Pelagic, capable of migration across oceanic regions (Ref. 58302). Usually solitary or in pairs but can be found in feeding aggregations of 10 or more; does not form schools (Ref. 247). Feeds on bony fishes, sharks, rays, seals, dolphins and porpoises, sea birds, carrion, squid, octopi and crabs (Ref. 5578) and whales (Ref. 32140). Ovoviviparous, embryos feeding on yolk sac and other ova produced by the mother (Ref. 43278, 50449). Number of young born per litter, 7 (Ref. 31395) to 14 (Ref. 26346). Reported by some experts to attack humans which they mistake for their normal prey (Ref. 47). Most attacks occur in estuaries. Caught by big-game anglers and line boats for its jaws (Ref. 5578). Reported to cause poisoning (Ref. 4690). Flesh is utilized fresh, dried-salted, and smoked for human consumption, the skin for leather, liver for oil, carcass for fishmeal, fins for shark-fin soup, and teeth and jaws for decorations (Ref. 13574). Possibly to 8 m in length, considered the world's largest predator with a broad prey spectrum. The record of 10.98 m is incorrect (Ref. 13574). Sometimes considered the most dangerous shark in the world (Ref. 26938).
- Compagno, L.J.V. 1984 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 1 - Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(4/1):1-249. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 247) http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=247&speccode=88