About the Shark Research Committee

Guest Speaker
Media Consultant

Pacific Coast
Shark News

Sharks of the Pacific Coast

White Shark Biosketch

Distribution and Diet of Pacific Coast White Sharks

Predatory Behavior of Pacific Coast White Sharks

Shark/Human Interactions Along the Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast
Shark Attack

Fatal Pacific Coast Shark Attacks
1900  —  Present

Shark Attacks Along the Pacific Coast - 2000 —

Shark Attacks Along the Pacific Coast - 1990s

Case Histories of Unprovoked White Shark Attacks:


White Shark Interactions with Inanimate Objects


Shark Encounters:

White Shark Encounters Along the Pacific Coast

Soupfin Shark Encounter

Reporting Forms:

 Shark Attack

  Shark Encounter

  Shark Predation

Shark Web Sites:

Recommended Links

'Save the Sharks — Save the Oceans' ™

Biosketch of the White Shark


  • body heavy, spindle-shaped, with conical snout and narrow tail stalk supported by stout lateral keels
  • long gill slits, extending about 2/3 the depth of the throat
  • mouth armed with teeth that are relatively few but large
  • second dorsal and anal fins small, with pivoting bases
  • caudal fin lunate, with lower lobe nearly as large as the upper
  • teeth triangular and serrated
  • eyes small but conspicuous, black with no visible pupil
  • origin of first dorsal fin over rear base of pectoral fins
  • sharp demarcation between dark upper surfaces and white lower surfaces; trailing edge of pectoral fin white, underside of pectoral tips black; a black spot occurs at the pectoral axil ("armpit") in some individuals


  • at birth: 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters)
  • at maturity: males 11.5-12 feet (3.5-3.6 meters), females 15-16 feet (4.5-5 meters)
  • maximum: 20+ feet (6+ meters), possibly to 26 feet (8 meters)


  • age at maturity: males 9-10 years, females 14-16 years
  • reproductive mode: ovoviviparous, with oophagy
  • gestation period: 14 months
  • number of pups: 5-10, possibly to 17


  • juvenile: bottom-dwelling teleost fishes, invertebrates, small sharks and rays
  • adult: sharks, rays, teleost fishes, seals, sea lions, dolphins, whale blubber, squids, seabirds, marine turtles, crabs, snails

Habitat Types:

  • sandy plains, rocky reefs, kelp forests, coral reefs, deep sea, polar seas

Depth Range:

  • surface to 6150 feet (1875 meters)

Global Distribution (by Zoogeographic Region):

  • Central Pacific, South Pacific, Western Pacific, Temperate Eastern Pacific, Tropical Eastern Pacific, Peruvian, Western North Atlantic, Caribbean, Argentinean, Eastern North Atlantic/Mediterranean, West African, Southern African, Madagascaran, Arabian, Southeast Asian, Western Australian, Southeast Australian/New Zealand, Northern Australian





The material contained on this Web site is shared as a public service and to further the scientific goals of the Shark Research Committee.  All text and images on this Web site are the exclusive property of the Shark Research Committee.  Information on this Web site may be used for private study, but may not otherwise be published, duplicated, or modified in any way without the prior written permission of Ralph S. Collier.