Q:

What are the Great White Shark behavioral adaptations?

A:

Quick Answer

To survive, great white sharks have evolved several behavioral adaptations, including flexible activity patterns, migratory habits and social hierarchies. However, great white sharks are also intelligent hunters, and their most important adaptation is their use of different strategies for different prey. Great whites are not commonly kept in captivity; so many aspects of their behavior remain unknown, as it is difficult to study them in the wild.

Continue Reading
What are the Great White Shark behavioral adaptations?
Credit: Elias Levy CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Unlike some creatures that are only adapted for being active during the day or during the night, great white sharks hunt during both time periods. Nevertheless, great white sharks have strong vision in bright light, so scientists suspect that they hunt more during the day. Great whites hunt a wide variety of prey, including fish, mollusks, crustaceans, birds, smaller sharks, and – most importantly – marine mammals. For surface-dwelling birds, the great whites race towards the surface and grab the birds with their mouths, sometimes breaching the water in the process. When hunting large, surface-dwelling mammals, great whites often swim up underneath the intended prey and bite it before retreating to the depths. They then wait until the prey stops struggling or bleeds to death before returning to retrieve the food. They bring the food down to the bottom before consuming it.

Learn more about Sharks

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the biggest great white shark ever seen?

    A:

    According to Discovery Communications, the biggest great white shark ever reported was 23 feet long. It was caught off the coast of Malta by Alfredo Cutajar in 1987, however there is still some debate as to if the measurement was accurate or not.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What size was the largest great white shark ever caught?

    A:

    There are numerous discrepancies over the size of the largest great white ever caught, but the Canadian Shark Research Center claims that the largest, accurately measured great white shark was caught in 1988 off Prince Edward Island and was a length of 20 feet. Other recorded shark captures seem to be exaggerated or miscalculated, according to scientists who study marine life.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the differences between a Megalodon and a Great White Shark?

    A:

    The most noticeable difference between the extinct Megalodon and its modern-day counterpart, the Great White Shark, is that the Megalodon was much larger. Scientists attempt to discern more subtle differences between the two species from evidence found in fossilized teeth of the Megalodon.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What eats a shark?

    A:

    Though sharks are considered apex predators, they are often eaten by humans and are sometimes eaten by killer whales. Shark embryos from different fathers will also eat each other in utero, with the largest embryo of the bunch usually winning out.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore