Great White Sharks: an Essay

Great White Sharks

Most of us think of the movie “Jaws” when we think of great white sharks. I recently watched the movie and wanted to know more about them, so I included some interesting facts here.

The Great White Shark lives in areas with warmer water temperatures, between 54 and 75° F, such as the Atlantic Ocean, South Africa, Japan, Chile, and the Mediterranean. The great white shark lives in coastal areas and are known to occasionally dive into the deep water of open oceans. They can be found in waters as shallow as three feet deep and as deep as 1280 meters.

Eating Habits

When Great Whites are young, they eat fish, rays, and other sharks, but as adults eating is a different story. As adults, they eat sea lions, seals, small toothed whales (like belugas), otters, and sea turtles. They also eat carrion which are dead animals found floating in the water. Another interesting, and somewhat strange, fact is that they don’t chew their food, they swallow it whole.


Great white sharks usually locate their prey based on smell and sound, then they slowly move closer and rely mostly on their sight once they get very close. They attack from below, taking their prey by surprise. Not many animals are considered a threat to great white sharks, except for killer whales also known as orcas.

Killer whales hunt great white sharks by flipping them upside down. Once the great white shark is flipped upside down, the shark becomes paralyzed and cannot fight back. The great white shark protects itself with its powerful jaws, out-swimming its enemy, and viciously slamming their bodies against the enemy.

Other Cool Information

Great white sharks have an amazing sense of smell. It is believed that they can smell a single drop of blood in the water. They also have good eyesight and hearing, which makes it easy for them to hunt at any time of the day or night. Also, of all the species of sharks, the great white is the only one to bring its head out of the water. When a great white shark bites its prey, its eyes roll into their bodies for protection. The average female is 15-16 feet long, while males reach 11-13 feet.

The great white shark is a very interesting fish. That’s right, it’s a fish. I learned a lot writing this essay and hope you did too!

You can find out more information about great white sharks and other sea creatures on the
Smithsonian Ocean Portal