The Great White shark,(Carcharodon carcharias)
Also known as white pointer, white shark, white death and blue pointer, is an exceptionally large shark found in most coastal surface waters in all major Oceans. Reaching lengths of more than 5.8m (20 ft) and weighing up to 2,000 kg (4.200 lb), the great white shark is the world's largest known predatory fish.
It is beautifully streamlined to slip through the water with minimum effort. Its enormous size, powerful jaws, rows of large triangular teeth, and jet-black eyes make it one of the most feared creatures on the planet.
It is the ultimate macro predator.
Great Whites will hunt seals, porpoises, fish, and other sharks, and will strike from any angle. It’s large, powerful cutting teeth enabling this shark to eat almost any living animal that ventures into its realm.
The Great White has been responsible for more attacks on humans than any other shark species.
Great Whites have a large conical-shaped head. It has almost the same size upper and lower lobes on the tail fin, and commonly display counter-shading, having a white underside and a grey, sometimes brown dorsal area, that gives the shark an overall "mottled" appearance.
This type of coloration makes it difficult for prey to spot the shark as it very effectively breaks up the shark's outline when seen from above, as the darker top half of the shark blends in with the darker sea.
In low visibility of 3-5m, even from an elevated vantage point of the boats viewing deck, it was difficult to spot Great Whites approaching even at a depth of only 2 meters. They simply blend in perfectly.
The Great white sharks' reputation as ferocious predators is well-earned, yet they are not as was once believed, indiscriminate "eating machines".
Around Seal Island, they typically hunt using an "ambush" technique, taking their prey by surprise from below. Rob Lawrence and Chris Fallows have observed that the shark attacks on seals returning to the island most often occur in the morning, within the first 2 hours after sunrise. The reason for this is possibly that the shark’s natural camouflage is optimized by the low light, and it is hard to see a shark close to the bottom at this time.
The success rate of attacks is about 50% in the first 2 hours, dropping to 40% in late morning and after which the sharks appear to stop hunting.