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Great White Shark

Great White Shark

The great white shark is a streamlined swimmer and a ferocious predator with 3,000 teeth at any one time. This much-feared fish has a torpedo-shaped body, a pointed snout, a crescent-shaped tail, 5 gill slits, no fin spines, an anal fin, and 3 main fins: the dorsal fin and 2 pectoral fins. When the shark is near the surface, the dorsal fin and part of the tail are visible above the water. Only the underbelly of the great white shark is actually white; its top surface is gray to blue gray. This is useful in hunting its prey. The great white usually strikes from below and its grayish top coloration blends in with the dark water, enabling it to approach the prey unobserved. Great whites average 12-16 feet long long, weighing about 5,000 pounds. The biggest great white shark on record was 23 feet (7 m) long, weighing about 7,000 pounds. Females are larger than males, as with most sharks. Shark pups can be over 5 feet long at birth. Young great white sharks eat fish, rays, and other sharks. Adults eat larger prey, including pinnipeds, small toothed whales, otters, and sea turtles. Great whites do not chew their food. Their teeth rip prey into mouth-sized pieces which are swallowed whole. A big meal can satisfy a great white for up to 2 months.

Credits: Enchanted learning

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