Young great white sharks typically feed on smaller species such as squid and stingrays, as well as other small sharks (McGrouther, 2008). As these fish mature their appetites change. The diet of adults consists primarily of phocidae, otariidae, Delphinidae, and Cetacea carcasses (McGrouther, 2008). One of the most frequent prey animals of great white sharks are mirounga (MarineBio, 2009). Sometimes they feed on turtles and various sea birds (McGrouther, 2008). Great white sharks may attack with different strategies depending on the size of their prey. The most common attack method used by great white sharks involves the shark positioning itself directly below its prey and then swimming vertically into an attack (MarineBio, 2009). These sharks collide into their prey and then bite them. Prey often die from blood loss, decapitation or severance of vital appendages such as fins. Great white sharks have been reported to attack humans but there have been as few as 311 verified deaths from great white shark attacks (Burnie and Wilson, 2001). ("Great White Shark: Predator of the Deep", 2008; "MarineBio", 2009; Burnie and Wilson, 2001; McGrouther, 2008)
Animal Foods: Birds; Mammals; Reptiles; Fish; Mollusks; Other Marine Invertebrates
- Burnie, D., D. Wilson. 2001. Smithsonian Institution Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. New York, New York: Dorling Kindersley.