The Taxonomy of Great White Sharks
By: William Moody

What is Taxonomy?

Taxonomy is the study of classifying organisms. The levels of taxonomy include Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. The Kingdom is the most general level and Species is the most specific level.

Taxonomic Levels of The Great White Shark:

Kingdom: Animalia- The Great White Shark is eukaryotic and are multicellular. They are heterotrophic which means they cannot make their own food like plants. They have to eat other organisms to gain nutrients and energy.

Phylum: Chordata- The Great White Shark contains a spinal cord but do not contain a back bone. They have a dorsal nerve cord and a post anal tail which is an extension of the back past the anal opening.

Class: Chondrichthyes- They are Cartilaginous fish that are lacking true bone. They have a skeletal system that consists of cartilage. The cartilage is tough but at the same time the cartilage is flexible.

Order: Lamniformes- They contain an anal fin, 5 gill slits, and 2 dorsal fins. The three main fins are the dorsal fin on its back and the two pectoral fins which are on the sides. The mouth of Lamniformes have large mouths and can open them very wide.

Family: Lamnidae- They have pointed snouts and their gills open wide. Their dorsal fin is large, high, stiff. When the shark is close to the surface its dorsal fin and tail are visible above the water. Most of these sharks are very fast. They are found in oceans all over the world.

Genus: Carcharodon- Carcharodon means man-eating sharks. They are very aggressive, very large, and they are know as white sharks. They are found in warm oceans and they are known to attack humans.

Species: Charcharius- The shark is normally gray or bluish. Most of them are 13-16 feet and 1,500-2,400 pounds. They are known as man-eaters because they attack humans. They have two dorsal fins which are both on their back and one is smaller than the other. They have 5 gills and sometimes the fifth gill doesn't work.

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