Great white sharks are called the ocean's apex predators because they are on top of the food chain. Their intimidating demeanor combined with their size, makes them one of the most fearsome creatures in the ocean. Have you ever wondered what great sharks eat? If yes, you are not alone.
Just like us humans, it takes a considerable amount of food to be big. As for the great whites, what is their primary food source? Do they eat a lot in a day just to maintain their body weight? If you have a curious mind, then this article might be what you are after. Below, you will be learning some important information on these sea creatures and everything you need to know about them.
Information About Great White Sharks
Great white sharks, or their scientific name Carcharodon carcharias, are widely considered the largest predatory type of fish globally. They were brought into the spotlight thanks in large part to the film “Jaws.” As a result, these creatures are often found in waters from around the world. They grow at an average size of 15 feet and weigh as much as 4,000 to 5,000 tons when they reach full adulthood.
It is estimated that a great white shark can grow as much as 20 feet when it reaches full maturity and weigh as much as 6,000 pounds.
What Do Sharks Eat? Get To Know How they Feed
Being on top of the food chain means selecting which one is more delicious than the others. However, do great whites prefer a different kind of food than you would normally think? Or do sharks have a favorite food?
Still, researchers believe it would be extremely hard to study what great white sharks eat. Instead, the most relevant question should be, “What are their most important food sources?” It is not just what these sharks eat but what food source they rely on the most.
Bigger great whites have preferred a menu that involves seals, sea lions, otters, small whales, and even dolphins; this is according to a muscle examination taken from a great white shark. Surprisingly, a great white feast on large full-grown whales, but only if they are dead for some time now.
On the other hand, smaller sharks tend to have the same food on the menu and smaller sizes. Another troubling feedback is that sharks eat a lot of plastics, but not intentionally, unintentionally.
Luckily, there were no humans on the menu based on the study, but the thing is, it was reported that there were 61 unprovoked shark attacks that happened across the globe. Great white sharks are often called opportunistic feeders, meaning they can eat everything on the menu.
Interesting Great White Shark Facts
Now that we’ve unraveled what great white sharks eat, we’ve listed down some interesting facts about these apex predators that should astound you.
Sharks don’t have bones
Great white sharks belong to the family called elasmobranchs which means they are made of cartilaginous tissues, a tissue that our ears and nose are made up of. They also have family members you may have known, such as the sawfish, skates, and even rays!
Even in dark-lighted areas, great white sharks and other sharks can see clearly. Thanks to a reflective layer of tissue called the tapetum, which helps them see colors even in the dark.
If you happen to swim with the sharks, touching their body feels like sandpaper, which is extremely rough! This roughness can be attributed to their tiny-teeth-like structures that are called placoid scales. This helps them propel smoother underwater because it reduces friction.
Hundred millions of years
Sharks have been in this world for a long time, to say the least. Some scientists and researchers believe that sharks appeared in Earth’s waters 450 million years ago.
Sharks have tiny black spots near their eyes, nose, and mouth if you see them up close and personal. These are what you call electroreceptors that help sharks sense electromagnetic fields in the water and temperature changes in the ocean.
Great white sharks play an important role in the food chain. Being the apex predator provides balance and keeps prey populations at an average level by feeding on them. Without great white sharks, populations of sea lions, otters, and seals may rise.
Great Sense of Smell
Aside from having an impressive vision in dark-colored waters, they are apex predators for various reasons; they also have an impressive ability to smell seals from two miles away. Furthermore, they can smell a drop of blood for every 100 to 120 liters of water.
We are not on the menu
Fortunately, we humans aren’t on the shark’s menu. Some shark attacks can be connected to curiosity. Researchers believe that these shark attacks are bites out of curiosity rather than preying on human meat.
As we’ve mentioned, one of their cunning abilities is to catch their prey unknowingly. In most cases, they position themselves underneath or at the bottom of their prey before latching onto them and biting with such incredible force. As a result, they are often witnessed breaching through the waters with their prey already in their mouth. Yikes!
Humans are their biggest threats. Bycatching, overfishing, and habitat degradation are all contributed by man-made activities. In addition, certain species of great whites and other sharks are critically endangered to being vulnerable. Fortunately, some laws are being passed to protect and conserve these creatures.
Great white sharks have a very diverse diet, and they can pretty much eat whatever they want. Still, they prefer sea lions, sea otters, and seals as they can give them the boost they need for days. So when it comes to its menu, sea mammals are always on top of the list, followed by small types of fish.
Finally, sharks still face threats from around the world, from overfishing, bycatching, and other human activities. Fortunately, thanks to various efforts, they are considered to be vulnerable now, a testament that humans are going on the right path as they were long considered critically endangered. As a result, their numbers are slowly increasing, and their future is full of potential.
Join us here at ATOLEA Jewelry on our mission of preserving the Ocean for the future of marine life. Part of our profit from your purchase of our Ocean-inspired jewelry goes to Ocean conservation charities working towards the mission of protecting the Ocean, the beaches and the waves.
So dive into our beautiful collection of Ocean-inspired jewelry and let’s start showing everyone how much you care for the Ocean!