Chordates •

Great white shark

(Carcharodon carcharias)



The Carcharodon carcharias ( Linnaeus,1758),also called great white shark,carcarodon or sometimes simply white shark or shark,is a condroitto fish of the Lamnidi family.The only living representative of the genus Carcharodon,this shark is the largest predator fish on the planet.Protagonist of many documentaries and films for the cinema (including a famous film by Steven Spielberg),is the most known and studied shark species in the world.It is a species that is always massive,even if of a variable size.Muzzle of conical shape,slightly convex at the bottom.It has dark,round eyes,is devoid of a nictitating membrane and has five gill slits,which can pump water only if the shark is moving.The first dorsal fin is large and sickle-shaped and begins at the level of the posterior end of the pectoral ones,which are also falciform.The second dorsal fin begins at the level of the anal fin,and both are small.All fins are without spine.The caudal finit is large and symmetrical crescent-shaped,although in reality the upper part is slightly longer than the lower part.The caudal peduncle is depressed in the dorso-ventral direction,so as to form two large hulls on the sides.The color is white in the lower part of the body,while it has shades ranging from gray to blue,sometimes slate,in the upper part.The line of separation between the two colors is sharp and jagged,and thanks to this double coloration the visibility of the white shark is reduced,because it is dark when seen from above and clear when seen against the light.The skin of the white shark (like that of the other sharks) is not covered with real scales,but with sharp dermal teeth,which measure from a few tenths of a millimeter to 1 cm,consisting of a dentin covered with enamel;Their main function is to let the water run along the shark body in a highly hydrodynamic way,and also protect it from parasites.It possesses what,for popular conviction,has for years been considered the most powerful jaw among living animals,more recent studies have discovered however that the bite of the marine crocodile is infinitely more powerful.In truth,the bite of the white shark is not even in the top 10 of the most powerful bites of the animal kingdom,probably because the shark has evolved to hunt prey like seals,fish and dolphins,creatures from the body all in all soft and not armored,unlike terrestrial predators like tigers or bearsthat have evolved to hunt large herbivores with a massive size and a massive and robust constitution.It should also be noted that the white shark,unlike the latter,does not need a particularly strong bite because it kills its smaller prey by swallowing it immediately and the larger ones tearing away scraps of meat and then waiting for them to bleed to death ( tactic called "hit and run") where these animals to kill their prey must exert great force to suffocate them.The mouth of the white shark is equipped with various rows of teeth: triangular and serrated on the upper arch to shred the prey,long and pointed on the lower one to stab and keep the prey.The teeth can reach up to 7.5 cm in length.Thanks to the wonderful network that allows him to make the most of the heat generated by powerful muscles and metabolism,he manages to achieve a slight endotherm,which allows his body to be particularly reactive and lending during the hunt.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Elasmobranchii
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