Alternative names: white pointer, great white shark.
Scientific name: Carcharodon carcharias
Diet: The diet of young white sharks (under about 3.5 metres) is mainly a variety of fish, rays and other sharks. Larger adults eat larger prey including marine mammals, such as sea lions, seals and small-toothed whales. They also eat dead animals floating in the water.
Size: The biggest recorded specimen was 7 metres long and 3,200kg.
Range: White sharks are found near shore along most of the world's temperate coastlines but are relatively scarce compared to most other widely distributed shark species. In Australia, white sharks have been recorded from central Queensland, around the southern coast to North West Cape, Western Australia; however, are more common in the south.
- White sharks are listed as a vulnerable species in many Australian states, including NSW, and also in several other countries.
- White sharks have a heat-exchanging circulatory system that keeps their body warmer than the surrounding water.
Identifying the white shark:
- Only the underbelly is white: the top surface is grey to blue/grey or bronzy.
- The teeth are large, serrated and triangular.
White shark fact sheet (PDF, 2486.56 KB)