Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Carcharodon carcharias, Great white shark, White shark

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heavy body
lower body white
teeth triangular, serrated, uppers wide

Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)

White shark, Great white shark

Fusiform, robust body; snout conical, blunt, with nostrils on sides; mouth large, round; teeth triangular, serrated, those on top jaw broad; 5 large gill slits, all before pectoral fin; first dorsal fin large, triangular, origin over rear of base of pectoral fin; second dorsal fin very small; anal fin very small, origin under rear of base of second dorsal fin; tail almost symmetrical, half-moon shaped; tail base very depressed, with large keel that extends onto tail itself.

Back grey-brown, blue-grey, to blackish; abrupt changing to white/pale grey belly; eye black; underside of tips of fins black, usually a black spot where rear edge of fin joins body.

Size: reaches ~ 600 cm.

Habitat: coastal, inshore to oceanic.

Depth: 0 to 1280 m.

Circumglobal, temperate; Alaska to the Gulf of California; the Galapagos to Chile.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • In & Offshore
  • Offshore
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Surface
  • Water column only
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
  • Sharks/rays
  • Sea snakes/mammals/turtles/birds
  • Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West)
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West)
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily
  • All species
  • California + Peruvian provinces, primarily
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Antitropical (North and South temperate)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Vulnerable
  • Appendix II
  • Listed
Length Max
  • 600
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1280