Great white sharks are found in cool and temperate waters around major oceans throughout the world. These partially warm-blooded predators are rarely spotted in tropical waters because they may overheat.
Great white sharks are highly adapted to swimming in coastal surface waters, though they can be seen in offshore locations down to the bottom of the sea. They are carnivorous predators, and they often make their homes in places where pinnipeds, such as seals, sea lions and walruses live. Such locations include South Africa, which is home to cape fur seals, and the coast of Northern California, which is populated with elephant seals. The sharks are also seen near the coastline of western South America, which is home to southern sea lions.
The upper bodies of great whites have a slate-grey color, which blends well with the color of the surface water. Shaped like torpedo, a great white shark is able to speed through the water at up to 15 miles per hour. They can breach the surface of the water when they attack their prey from below. Averaging 15 feet in length, great white sharks are the largest predatory fish in the world. They may reach more than 20 feet and 5,000 pounds in weight, which is comparable to that of a bus.