Great white sharkWSH

Carcharodon carcharias
~ 110.0 cm FL
Carcharodon carcharias ventral upper and lower teeth

Characteristic features:

  • Strong lateral keel on caudal peduncle
  • Snout broadly pointed, its undersurface dusky to dark
  • Pectoral fins long, about equal in length to head
  • Eyes relatively large (compared with Isurus oxyrinchus)
  • Anal-fin origin about level with second dorsal-fin insertion
  • Anterior teeth with smooth-edged cusps, relatively straight, tips not curved outward


Dorsal surfaces blueish to bluish grey (becoming dark grey after death). Ventral surfaces dusky to whitish.


Up to at least ~430 cm TL; size at birth size 92–97 cm TL.


Probably circumglobal in all tropical waters however records are patchy. Found in deeper waters.

View FAO distribution map.


A pelagic and oceanic species.


Probably feeds primarily on pelagic fish and cephalopods, dolphin remains have also been found in stomach content analysis studies CITE. Length at maturity is ~245 cm TL and ~190–228 cm TL for females and males respectively. Age at maturity is unknown for females and males. Reproductive mode is viviparous with oophagy and adelphophagy, gestation is unknown, with an unknown reproduction cycle. Litter size is 2–8 pups.

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught rarely by pelagic longline.

Similar species:

Isurus oxyrinchus
Isurus oxyrinchus
Isurus oxyrinchus differs in having a less pointed snout that is dusky ventrally (vs. a more pointed snout that is white ventrally) and pectoral fins about as long as head (vs. pectoral fins far shorter than length of head).
Prionace glauca
Prionace glauca
Prionace glauca differs in having a asymmetrical caudal fin, with a much longer upper lobe and shorter lower lobe (vs. caudal fin lunate, with upper and lower lobes of similar length).

Internal links:

Carcharodon carcharias interactive learning
Carcharodon carcharias market gallery

External links:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species TM