Reactionary Tales

Great White Shark

Today’s endangered animal is not exactly endangered quite yet but deserves awareness. Now, I know most humans are instinctively afraid of these huge creatures but this species is very vulnerable and can tip over to the endangered side any day.

Let’s start with basic facts shall we?

Great white sharks roam the the cool coastal waters of Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa Taiwan and US States California and Florida. The size of great white shark is largely debated but scientists can agree that recorded lengths are anywhere between 16-20 feet long and weigh between 4,000-7000 pounds. Great White sharks have a whopping 300 teeth but they don’t actually chew they prey. They bite them and swallow them whole. Their bodies are torpedo shaped which enables them to switch from a slow swim to a a high speed burst when hunting.

The size of their prey ranges from small, bony fish, to tuna, seals, dolphins and sometimes whales. They’re also known to eat crustaceans from time to time. Great White sharks are ovovivparous which means their eggs are produced and hatched inside the shark and sometimes uterine cannibalism may occur. This isn’t completely concrete, however, because a shark mating hasn’t been officially documented. They are also warm-blooded as opposed to most other shark species that are cold-blooded. It is estimated that a Great White shark’s life span is about 30 years.

Great white sharks are naturally curious creatures. They will readily swim up to a boat hoping to scavenge their next meal. Unfortunately, this as well as a few other things are the reason their population is declining. This is a problem because Great white sharks are keystone species.

For starters, Great White sharks do not eat humans. The humans who have been bitten by a shark are because the shark can’t tell the difference between a sea lion and a human when it’s hungry. There are more car accidents in the world 1000 times over than shark attacks. Thanks to the movieΒ Jaws, sharks have gotten a very bad rap. Overfishing and poaching are slowly but surely killing the population. Again, sharks are curious and they like to scavenge so oftentimes they’ll swim up to a fisherman’s boat hoping to catch a few tunas and get caught in the netting or flat out killed because of human fear. The poaching is largely in part due to human demand for shark jaw, teeth and fins. On the black market, a shark jaw can go for $20,000-$500,000 US dollars with the individual teeth being sold for $600-$800 US dollars.

Great White sharks are super important to our marine environment. Not only are they apex predators (top of the food chain) they are also keystone species. Great White sharks keep the ocean biodiversity in check because they prey on the sick and weak species of a population which in turn keeps those species from overpopulating and helps us humans to have healthy, non diseased fish on our plates.

Bottom line, we need these beasties. Conservation efforts have taken place. The Great White Shark is protected under law in Australia, South Africa, Namibia, California and Florida, and Israel with fisheries being completely banned from some of these waters. However, humans have their ways of avoiding or “misinterpreting” the law so it’s still a struggle. If you’ve read this and decided that Great White sharks aren’t so bad after all, consider adopting one here.

(Sources: WWF, IUCN)

Nel

Happily married, bookaholic, Netflix-a-holic sharing random experiences and interpretations of my world which is brutally honest most of the time.

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26 thoughts on “Great White Shark

  1. theorangutanlibrarian

    Yeah I know that Jaws wasn’t real… but they’ve freaked me out ever since- they’re so prehistoric (I have the same problem with crocodiles to be honest) That said, I know that we need these beasties, cos the environment is such a delicate ecosystem (doesn’t mean we have to get on though πŸ˜‰ )

    1. Nel Post author

      I’m with you to be honest. I have a healthy dose of fear of sharks and crocodiles despite their stigmas which is why I don’t willing go into a body of water unless it’s to dip my feet into the water. And even then, I better see the bottom or it’s for sure not happening.

  2. updownflight

    There was a news flash on my RSS feed maybe a week ago. It said that some nasty jerks managed to hook/tie a shark and then drag it at high speeds behind their boat. I remember thinking that even though sharks are scary beasts, that they don’t deserve to suffer any more than any other living being.

    1. Nel Post author

      That’s horrifying Cindy. I agree with you. They’re still living creatures who don’t deserve any such treatment. And humans wonder why animals strike back sometimes!

  3. intenttowin

    It is so horrible when our great sea animals have to fight humans, pollution, and their natural health problem. Prayers the Great White will be with us always.

  4. Mischenko

    It’s funny how people have been misled when it comes to sharks. They’ve always been labeled as ferocious beasts. I learned so much about sharks after studying Eugenie Clark. She spent her whole life educating about sharks and teaching about their importance. This is such a great post, Nel. I β™‘ it.

    1. Nel Post author

      Mischenko you are so educated! I love hearing about the things you know. Thank you for reading. I hope others feel the same way you do πŸ™‚

      1. Mischenko

        Nel, you’re so sweet to say that! I feel the same way about you and love that you are so caring about animals. <3 Thank you for sharing such educational posts! <3

  5. James J. Cudney IV

    Another very fine entry in this category on your blog. I didn’t realize they were in all those places. I thought in only a couple. Interesting… I’m still not worried since I won’t swim in the ocean, but if I ever see one on land, I’ll ask if I can weigh it. For research purposes.

    1. Nel Post author

      Oh yes please so we can have some concrete evidence but don’t leave them out of the water too long cause they can only hold their breath so long :P. I don’t swim either. You’re not alone.

  6. mypeacockbooks

    I’ll admit I’m no fan of sharks or anything else with sharp teeth that’s larger than me, but I wouldn’t ever want a creature like this to go extinct. This was such a great and informative post! πŸ™‚

    1. Nel Post author

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed this. Now you can share the information with others if they ever want to talk nasty about these misunderstood beasties πŸ™‚

  7. cwhiteweb

    Wow! I like how educative these are. 300 decorative teeth! The fact that they prey on weak species, survival of the fittest at play. Amazing. Thanks for sharing Nel 😊

    1. Nel Post author

      Thank you girl. And I didn’t know their exact important role like that until I read up on it. It’s truly an amazing species indeed. 😁

      1. cwhiteweb

        I thought of something, kinda similar for land animals. But given your very intimate relationship with meat, you might not agree with me πŸ˜€πŸ˜›

  8. Keira

    You’re doing some very important work here! I watched all of the Snapchat News stories thing for Shark Week recently (can’t remember when exactly) and it was really interesting.

    1. Nel Post author

      Thank you! I’ve always had a passion for wildlife conservation. 😊 Sharks are quite interesting! They’re like pitbulls in that they get a bad rep for just being themselves.

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