The Herd

Great White Shark

Elsa Molarsky, Creative Writing Editor

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Carcharodon carcharias

The great white shark is one of the most feared predators of all time. With their strong jaws and reputation as bloodthirsty maneaters (thanks a bunch JAWS!) it’s no wonder these strong animals are feared. Much like the hyenas and the wolves, however, they are very misunderstood animals that do not deserve this unfair portrayal. Great white sharks are ancient creatures, and have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. The oldest great white shark fossil is sixteen million years old. They can live for seventy years or more, making them the longest living known cartilaginous fish in the world. Great White Shark males do not reach sexual maturity until the age of age twenty six, and females do not reach sexual maturity until age thirty three. Combined with people killing them for food and sport, the Great White Shark is considered a vulnerable species. The preferred prey of Great White Sharks are fish, seals, young dolphins, almost anything that can fit in their mouth’s rows of razor sharp teeth. Humans are not a preferred prey of Great White Sharks, despite being responsible for a number of fatal shark attacks on humans. More often than not, once the Great White tastes a human, the taste is so nasty that it spits the human back out. Great White Sharks give live birth, much like humans. Their gestation period is eleven months. They are said to breed off the Sea Of Cortez according to fishermen who have caught them and found lost teeth and parts of their catches. The Great White Shark is a misunderstood and majestic beast that must be protected. There is still so little known about them and we need to learn to better understand these animals, which wee can’t do that if they’re extinct.

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Kennebunk High School's quarterly magazine
Great White Shark