Species: Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Total Length: 3m
Shark nr: 47
Unique feature: White pigmentation on left dorsal fin and large birthmark on right caudal fin
Location: Mossel bay, South Africa
The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), is a species of large mackerel shark which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. It is notable for its size, with larger female individuals growing to 6.1 m (20 ft) in length and 1,905–2,268 kg (4,200–5,000 lb) in weight at maturity. However, most are smaller. In Mossel Bay, the Shark Research Unit typically measures great white sharks between 200cm and 350cm total length. According to a 2014 study, the lifespan of great white sharks is estimated to be as long as 70 years or more, making it one of the longest lived cartilaginous fishes currently known. According to the same study, male great white sharks take 26 years to reach sexual maturity, while the females take 33 years to be ready to produce offspring.
The adoption fee for Neptune has been directed to the shark research programs conducted by the Shark Research Unit. Specifically we will be using the funds to purchase a new photographic camera for our colour change in great white shark experiment. In this project we photograph great white sharks (from above) as they swim past a floating colour board. The colour board consists of stickers ranging from full black to full white. Photograph-icing the shark next to the board allows us to conduct colour correction in post and reveal the true colour of the shark. With this colour we describe change in colour by individual sharks.