Great White Sharks Research

Sharks, especially Great White Sharks, are one of the most mysterious of animals. They are one of the most feared sea creatures so experiments and research are not common. This results in the question I am studying, how did the Great White come to be the king of the ocean?  The origins of the Great White Shark and how they came about hold a debate among scientists, the reason being that the Great White has a cartilage skeleton so the only fossil evidence  that can be found are teeth. Sharks are the most interesting creatures to me for this reason. I also think it would be awesome to study them. 

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/shark-week/photos/great-white-shark-bait/
http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/shark-week/photos/great-white-shark-bait/

Scientist originally thought that the great white’s closest relative is the Carcharodon Megalodon, also known as Megalodon; a 50 foot long shark, because of the similar saw like teeth, but a recent finding of ancient teeth in Oligocene deposits show that the great white may be related to the smaller Mako shark. Scientist that say ran these studies say that,” These teeth were classified as Isurus escheri, and were regarded as ‘proof’ that the modern saw-toothed great white evolved gradually from smooth-toothed mako sharks of the genus Isurus.” Even though there have been many good points for the mako, the main theory remains that the great white shark was a dwarf version of the megalodon and had different behaviors than the megalodon. This set a sympatric behavioral barrier, because though the great white and megalodon were in the same sea, they had different behaviors and different ranges of food. 

http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/m/megalodon.html
http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/m/megalodon.html

The summed up version of what scientist and other ocean lovers assumed happened is; millions of years ago there were megalodons and dwarf megalodons, or great whites, and they lived in the same habitat, but the behaviors are different. While the great white’s behaviors allowed them to live, certain events caused the megalodons to go extinct. For example scientist assume that the Megalodon’s main source of food might have gone extinct, while the Great White can’t eat something that big. Maybe one day something will be found to unlock the secrets of the mysterious great white shark.

Article: elasmo-research.org/education/white_shark/carcharodon.htm     

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2 thoughts on “Great White Sharks Research

    1. I would like to study the movements of the Mako sharks when they attack their prey, and the reproductive patterns that they have, and compare these actions to the Great White. Other than that if this data isn’t evidence for the Mako, then I would have to figure something out of assume the Megalodon is the closest ancestor.

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