Eating Habits of Great White Sharks

Eating habits of Great White sharks, the way they hunt for prey and the way they attack and eat are explained.

The great white shark is a very large shark which can be found in coastal surface waters in all the oceans. It reaches a length of 6 meters and weighs up to 5000 pounds. It is known as the world’s largest predatory fish.

Eating habits of the Great White Shark

Great white sharks are carnivorous in nature and they eat primarily fish, whales, dolphins, and porpoises. They also eat pinnipeds like sea lions and seals. Though they seldom attack penguins and sea otters, they don’t eat them. These white sharks are known to eat objects which they can not digest. Most of the white sharks above 11 feet eat a higher proportion of mammals. They prefer high energy rich fat and depend on prey for that.

The Great White Shark mainly uses it’s senses like electrosense and mechanosense to detect the prey from a distance. Then the shark uses it’s smell and hearing senses to confirm the food. When it reaches a close distance, it uses sight to attack. They have a reputation as ferocious predators.They mostly hunt in a surprise way and attack the prey from below. White Sharks mostly hunt in the morning within two hours of sunrise and the reason for this is given as the sharks are hard to see from below at this time.

The hunting technique of a white shark varies with the species it is hunting. Reports have showed that When hunting Cape fur seals the white shark ambushes it from below at high speeds and hits the seal at mid-body. They go very fast and they can breach out of the water. They chase the prey after a missed attack earlier and they hunt till they catch the prey.

While hunting Northern elephant seals the white shark immobilizes the elephant with a bite at the hindquarters, which is known as the source of the mobility in a seal. It then waits for the seal to bleed to death and then eats it leisurely. This technique is more usually used on an adult elephant as it is large and dangerous.

Most of the prey like harbour seals are attacked on the sub surface. They are simply grabbed and pulled down till they are dead. Then the white shark eats it at the bottom of the ocean. Some prey like California sea lions are attacked from below and are struck in mid body . They are then dragged and finally are eaten. In the case of dolphins, White Sharks attack them from the top, behind, and below. This is done to avoid being detected by the dolphins through their sense of echolocation.

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2 Responses to “Eating Habits of Great White Sharks”
  1. Lauren Axelrod Says...

    On August 14, 2008 at 10:53 am

    These creatures are amazing. My psychology professor studies them and she has shown me some pretty spectacular photos of them.


  2. bgh Says...

    On March 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    my mom hit me on the head


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