Great white sharks, like other lamnid sharks such as the mako, are capable of regional endothermy. In other words, they are capable of maintaining an elevated body temperature in temperate (i.e., cold) waters, particularly in stomach and muscle tissue. The implications of this physiology upon the white shark's predation potential are significant. Due to its high metabolism and its oxygen-rich, relatively warm blood, the great white shark is capable of sustaining highly energetic activity and pursuing fast-moving prey (including open ocean fishes such as tunas and billfish) in an aggressive manner in temperate waters, all of which enables it to pursue and efficiently digest fat- and calorie-rich prey unattainable by other sharks.
A great white shark lunges to chomp a piece of bait hanging amid the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Baja California. Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and tuna. Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Mexico
Species: Great white shark
, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)
, Baja California
Image ID: 07682
Format: Digital 3:2
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