The great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, also known as great white, white pointer, white shark, or white death, is a large lamniform shark found in coastal surface waters in all major oceans. The great white shark is very well known for its size, because it can exceed 6 metres (20 ft) in length and 2,240 kilograms (4,938 lb) in weight. It becomes sexually mature at around 15 years of age and has a lifespan of 30 to over 100 years. The great white shark is arguably the world’s largest known predatory fish, eating dolphins, porpoises, whale carcasses and pinnipeds such as seals, fur seals and sea lions. It is the only surviving species of its genus, Carcharodon.
The best selling novel Jaws and the subsequent film by Steven Spielberg provided the great white shark with the image of a “man eater” in the public mind. In reality, humans are not appropriate prey for white sharks.
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