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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: very large fusiform shark with trunk moderately stout. Snout conical rather blunt, flattened above; teeth triangular, coarsely serrate. First dorsal fin origin opposite or slightly anterior to inner corner of pectoral fin when latter is laid back, its apex rounded, its rear margin only slightly concave; anal fin origin posterior to second dorsal fin base; caudal peduncle strongly depressed dorso-ventrally and widely expanded laterally, with a prominent furrow above and below, just in front of origin of caudal fin; caudal fin strongly lunate. Colour: slaty-brown, dull slate-blue to quite dark above, dirty white below with a black spot below the pectoral. Large specimens (4-4.5 m) are described as leaden-white or dun-coloured above. Size: to 6.4 m, possibly to over 8 m, usually to 5-6m

Habitat: epipelagic, coastal and offshore, from the surface to at least 1,300 m; rare in the Clofnam area. Food: very voracious. Feeding on Iarge fishes (tunas), sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, seals, squids; documented as a man-eater and considered the most dangerous of all sharks

Distribution: eastern Atlantic (rare) to Gulf of Biscay, also Mediterranean. Elsewhere, southward to Angola, South Africa; probably cosmopolitan in temperate cold seas, antitropical in distribution.

Complementary iconography. Metaxa, 1839, pl. I (Squalus Carcharodon Smith).
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Parker, 1887: 27, pl. 4-8 (embryos) | Capapé, 1974a: 233.

Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)