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Great White Shark

marine life of Namibia

Introduction: The great white shark, (Carcharodon carcharias), is also known as great white, white pointer, white shark, or white death. It reaches maturity at around 15 years of age and can have a life span of over 30 years. It is arguably the world's largest known extant macro-predatory fish and is one of the primary predators of marine mammals. It is also known to prey upon a variety of other marine animals and is the only surviving species of its genus, Carcharodon.

The great white has had a bad name in the marine world since Peter Benchley's best selling novel Jaws hit the bookshops. The subsequent film by Steven Spielberg depicted the great white shark as a 'ferocious man eater', with many a viewer unable to take a bath for years, let alone go for a swim in the sea. In reality, humans are not the preferred prey item of great white shark, as they would much rather tuck into a nice large Cape fur sea or leatherback turtle for supper.

But all the same, the sight of a pointed first dorsal fin, (followed by a second), with a big curved caudal and long, pointed pectoral fin, heading towards you, could signal the end of a perfect summer vacation. Best to keep still and hold the doggy paddling to a minimum in the hope that the black eyes, cone-shaped snout and huge, triangle shaped teeth with jagged edges, are honing in on someone panicking more than you are.

Distribution: The great white can be found off the entire coast of Namibia (and throughout the world).

Diet: Bony fish, dolphins, seals, birds, carrion, octopus and the occasional surfer.

Colouring: A (massive) dark grey body with white underparts.

Breeding: A female great white shark often gives birth to about 8 pups on average.

Size: Average length 7m

Marine Life | Namibia

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Cape Cross Lodge

Wonderfully situated remote lodge - directly on the beach near the Cape Cross seal colony

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

An upmarket lodge on the Skeleton Coast - only visit-able as part of a fly in safari.

Terrace Bay

Accommodation in the Skeleton Coast, really catering for fisherman but hardened visitors who absolutely have to spend a few nights inside the Skeleton Coast Park may choose to stay here

Torra Bay

A campsite in the Skeleton Coast Park, popular with fisherman during the summer holidays

Accommodation in Namibia