The Beacon

Blog Tags: Great White Shark

Fact of the Day: Great White Shark

great white shark

Great White Shark (credit: Oceana/David P Stephens)

The final FOTD for Shark Week is on the fascinating great white shark, or white shark. Despite their reputation as man-eaters, great white sharks are actually more threatened by humans than vice versa.


Continue reading...

Fact of the Day: Cookiecutter Shark

Today’s FOTD is brought to you by the letter C, which is for cookie…and cookiecutter shark

Unlike most of the other sharks I’ve written about so far, the cookiecutter shark is a relatively small shark; they only reach about 20 inches in length. Like some other sharks, such as great white sharks, female cookiecutters are larger than their male counterparts. 

Despite their small size, these sharks still have quite a bite. They latch onto their prey and create suction with their large lips. Then they use their powerful jaws and many teeth to carve a circular chunk of flesh out of the unlucky victim.  (Get it? Like a carnivorous, marine cookiecutter?)

Cookiecutter sharks attack large fish like tuna or even whales and dolphins; the prey usually survives the attack but the telltale round scar remains. They are also bioluminescent; they have a patch on their bellies that glows in the dark, deep waters where they live. They use their bioluminescence to attract potential prey.

See you tomorrow for another shark FOTD and I hope you’re enjoying Shark Week as much as I am!


Continue reading...

What Kind of Shark Are You?

Great White Shark (credit: Oceana/David P Stephens)

Hello, shark fans!

While I generally don’t take advice from 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan, I do try to “live every week like it’s Shark Week.”  But as you may know, the real Shark Week starts August 1 and this year Oceana is an official partner with Discovery, so get ready for even more shark-filled fun and conservation.

I’ve been excited for weeks now so when I ran into the “What Kind of Shark Are You?” quiz on Discovery’s website, I had to check it out.  After answering the 10 questions I discovered that I am…a great white shark!

What kind of shark are you? Take the quiz and let us know your results! 

And to learn more about your shark alter ego, head to Oceana.org/Explore.


Continue reading...

A Whale of a... Whale

Happy Friday! Time for a brief break from the oil spill. And what better reason than for a really freakin' cool prehistoric whale.

The great white shark is often considered one of the world’s greatest predators. At between 15-20 feet long it is no slouch, but it pales in comparison to the Leviathan melville, a recently discovered predatory whale that lived 13 million years ago.

Named after the mythical sea monster Leviathan and Moby Dick author Herman Melville, the Leviathan melvillei was probably close to 60 feet long. According to the fossils found in a Peruvian desert, which was once part of a great ocean, the teeth of the beast were over a foot long and almost half a foot wide.


Continue reading...

Whale Wednesday: Shark vs. Orca

Some consider the great white shark to be the fiercest predator in the ocean. Now Free Willy is giving the species a run for its money. Orca whales' diet traditionally includes fish, squid, birds, seals, and other whales. Now some are adding Jaws to the menu.

Several populations of orca whales have learned how to attack sharks, including the great white, with various techniques, including what some scientists are calling the “karate chop.” To execute this sly move, the orca drives the shark to the surface, then comes down on top of the shark and turns it upside down, at which point it enters a paralyzed state. In fact, all the attack methods ultimately end with the shark on its back.

If you want more, watch this recent video of one such showdown.


Continue reading...


Browse by Date