Carcharodon carcharias

Great white shark | Grey Pointer | Maneater | White Death | White Pointer | White Shark
Carcharodon carcharias
Carcharodon carcharias


Temperate Africa, Temperate Australasia, Temperate South America, Temperate northern Atlantic, Temperate northern Pacific, Tropical Atlantic/Caribbean, Tropical Eastern Pacific, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Massive shark, very high first dorsal fin, minute second dorsal and anal fins, blue-grey upper body with abrupt change to white on the under surface. Possesses a deservedly fearsome reputation as responsible for more human fatalities than any other shark. Animals smaller than 3 m in length feed mainly on fish, but at larger sizes marine mammals are important in the diet. Protected in all Australian waters.


Max Size: 792 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 10.2-20.5°C

Depth: 0-1280m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Occurrence: Infrequent (4.5% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney