Reproductive System of Great White Sharks

Sarah McFadden

This is a photo of Nemo, Dory and Bruce from Disney's Finding Nemo

Great White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are aquatic creatures with up to 300 teeth at a time. They are a light grey colour with white bellies. These giant creatures can weigh up to 2.5 tonnes and normally travel by themselves. Great White Sharks eat Seals, Sea Lions, Dolphins, Fish, Turtles and Crustaceans.

Habitat of Great White Sharks

This picture shows a Great White jumping out of the water.

Great White Sharks live in the ocean and are found mostly in warmer waters like off the coast of Hawaii and Tropical Australia (Queensland, Northen Territory and parts of New South Wales). Although they like warmer waters some are seen off the coast of Alaska and parts of Europe. Great Whites mostly live close to the shore and close to the surface of the water. They cannot go very deep in water as their eye sight isn't very good but they have an amazing sense of smell (they can smell blood just under a kilometre away!).

Fertilisation and Development

Great White Sharks are viviparous, meaning they are internal fertilisers and developers. The eggs are fertilised inside the female and then later hatch inside her. The embryos then get nutrition by eating the unfertilised eggs and the weaker young. Great Whites are normally pregnant for 12-18 months but the time does vary. Sharks do not have a placenta and give birth to live young (like humans do). The parents give birth to 2-14 pups at a time.

Parental Care

This photo shows a young Great White Shark baby swimming alone.

Great White Sharks are r-sectional parents. The offspring immediately swim away after birth and are not cared for by the parents. This is good for the sharks as the habitat is very tough and they have to be able to get food and hunt without being worried about their children and having to find food for up to 14 other sharks.

Parts of the Shark reproductive system

This photo shows the reproductive system of a shark.

Uterus: Where the fetus grow and develop.

Oviduct: Where the Ovaries are stored until they are needed.

Ovary: The female reproductive cell.

Oviductal Gland:

Interesting Facts

This is a photo of a Great White Shark going to take a bite!

A Great White has numerous rows of serrated teeth, and can lose up to 1,000 in their life.

Some people call them White Death.

The liver of a great white shark can take up approximately 25% of their body weight.

Great White Sharks don't start breeding until they’re at least twenty years old!

Shark meat has high levels of mercury that is why it is recommended not to be eaten by humans.


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Enchanted Learning. (2010). Great White Shark. Retrieved 2013 9-September from Enchanted Learning:

Shark Facts. (n.d.). Great White Shark Facts. Retrieved September 10, 2013, from Shark Facts:

WSWP. (2013). Sharks. Retrieved 2013 9-September from The Ultimate South African Experience:

Yahoo. (2007). How far can a shark sense blood? Retrieved 2013 йил 9-September from Yahoo answers: (2013). What
do Great White Sharks Eat?
Retrieved September 12, 2013, from

Below is a map of the Gold Coast, one of the Great White hotspots of Australia.

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