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Great white shark facts

Great white sharks are incredible animals to watch, learn about and dive with. The team at Shark Diving Xperts have compiled the following list of facts to help you learn even more about their behavior.

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  • How big are great white sharks?

    How big are great white sharks?

    Born between 3-5 ft, great white sharks can grow up to an enormous 20ft. plus! Guadalupe Island sharks are typically mature sized ranging from 12 – 18 ft. Males (averaging 12-14 ft) are often seen through September and the huge females (averaging 15 – 18ft.) begin arriving typically from mid October onwards. It is estimated that a fully-grown great white shark could be up to 70 years old! Learn about our white shark research

  • What do white sharks eat?

    What do white sharks eat?

    A great white shark's diet varies from small fishes, skates, rays, and other sharks all the way up to different species of seal and also includes whale carcasses! Guadalupe Island is a hunting ground for mature white sharks feeding off the seals found there, in particular the huge Californian elephant seals. Meet the sharks

  • Who are the local great whites?

    Who are the local great whites?

    Since diving began at Guadalupe Island our team have come to know the sharks of Guadalupe well and have documented over 200 individuals. Some sharks have been seen for over 10 years, many returning each year to the delight of both our team and our cage divers! Learn about the 2016 diving season

  • Do sharks have personalities?

    Do sharks have personalities?

    This is one of the great things about our sharks. Each shark displays a different and unique personality or behavior when they visit the boat. Some are shy and cautious whilst others are more bold and confident. It is these personalities that have enabled our team to get to know the sharks at Guadalupe so well over the years. Meet 'Shredder' the shark!

  • Do great white sharks migrate?

    Do great white sharks migrate?

    The sharks of Guadalupe are highly migratory. The males begin to arrive at the Island in late July with the females arriving a little later around mid October. It is theorized that mature white sharks come here to mate before migrating away from the Island (around late December) to vast areas in the pacific, up and down the Californian coastline and into the sea of Cortez on 2-year migratory cycles. Learn about our shark work in Cape Town

  • How do white sharks reproduce?

    How do white sharks reproduce?

    Male sharks have what are called “claspers” these are essentially the animals’ sexual organs. They have 2 and are found on the underside of the body just below the anal fins. To reproduce the males bite onto the area around the females gills and pectoral fins to hold on and mate. Mature females’ bite marks and scarring can often be seen from this “turbulent” courtship late in the season! Learn about our white shark research

  • Why are great white sharks in Guadalupe?

    Why are great white sharks in Guadalupe?

    As well as being a great food source for great white sharks, Guadalupe Island is believed to be a mating ground. Females coincide their visit to the Island with the arrival of the massive Californian elephant seals to feed off. Mature female sharks can also often be seen with swollen bellies and fresh bite marks from mating. More about great white sharks

  • Are Guadalupe great white sharks tagged?

    Are Guadalupe great white sharks tagged?

    Many forms of research have been done on the sharks at Guadalupe over the years including using tags. You may even see some of these individuals during your time in the water. Ongoing studies from scientists are using these methods to try to discover and unravel many of the migratory and behavioral mysteries still yet to be solved. Learn about our 2015 science expeditions

  • What speed and depth do they swim at?

    What speed and depth do they swim at?

    Great white sharks have been clocked at speeds of between 25-30 mph when hunting for their food. They use these short bursts of energy in order to catch their fast moving prey such as Seals or Tuna. When migrating away from Guadalupe, tagged sharks have been recorded at depths of between 3000-4000 ft! Do great white sharks appear in the UK?

  • How many great white sharks are there?

    How many great white sharks are there?

    It is believed that between 100 – 200 different individuals visit the Island each year. Although worldwide estimations are difficult to make, one latest figure estimated that there may be as little as 3000-6000 white sharks left on the planet. That means there are less great white sharks left than tigers! Another reason for you to come and meet one. Book your trip today!