The Great White Shark Essay

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The great white shark or Carcharodon carcharias is one of the biggest fish and predator in the marine biome. It has infamous jaws with ragged teeth that serve an important purpose in its survival tactics. The great white shark has approximately 3000 teeth that assume a triangular shape. The strength of the jaws enables it to crash its prey at about 1 ton per square inch. Research shows that with this ability, the great white can consume between 9 and 14 kilograms in a single chomp; its bite is two times stronger than that of a lion. It has coloring predatory characteristics that aid it as it stalks its prey. Its top side is gray or brown, which prevents it from being distinguished from the ocean floor. Its white belly blends with the sky above; hence, it hinders its prey from seeing it easily. These features form a counter-shading form of camouflage, which creates a unique adaptation in the marine biome.

Unlike other sharks, one of the most unique features of the great white is that it is warm-blooded. Its blood vessels in the exterior and interior body sections are lined up concurrently. This alignment implies that warm blood that comes from the inside passes the cooler blood flowing from the exterior. As a result, it transfers heat to the adjoining vessels thereby keeping the interior organs warm. In this regard, the shark maintains an average body temperature of 14 degrees Celsius warmer than the sea water. Consequently, it can live in colder areas of the sea as compared to other sharks. However, this characteristic also implies that it has to take in more food.

Besides, its high-pitched teeth and powerful jawbones, the swiftness of this species and ability to sense movements play a significant role in search for prey. Its caudal fin tail facilitates quick acceleration, which enables it to attain fast speed. Furthermore, it has two dorsal fins that improve its hydrodynamics. The first dorsal fin is bigger to prevent the shark from rolling over as it swims through the water. The second one enables a smooth flow of water over the posterior section. Maneuvering through the water is aided by pectoral fins while pelvic fins balance its body while on movement.

The eyes of the great white shark are armed with powerful light-sensing rods and color-sensitive cones that play a central role in hunting even in the darkest parts of sea waters. These features help the fish to detect prey at a distance of 50 feet easily. Besides, it has scent glands on the snout that are important in detecting chemical traces from a distance of 400 meters. Scientists have also revealed that this species uses a dedicated organ known as Ampullae of Lorenzini (positioned beneath the snout) to sense electromagnetic fields resulting from muscle contraction. Its ears are filled with a special fluid that helps in detecting any vibrations in the water. Vibrations cause ripples in the fluid thereby helping them in sensing movements in their surroundings. Lastly, the shark has a pyloric stomach that provides a large room for indigestible items. Its liver, which is the largest organ of its body, helps it in both energy conversion and buoyancy. These anatomic features make the great white shark the most dreaded creature not only in the ocean, but also on the entire planet.

August 04, 2023


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