Scientific Name: Carcharodon carcharias
White sharks are the largest predatory sharks, and the occasional encounter with humans (and movie producers) has made them the most famous. Although they can reach almost 7 m in length, the average shark is closer to 5 m long, and weighs about 700 kg. Like other members of the lamind family, white sharks have the ability to elevate the temperature of portions of their body above that of the surrounding water.
In the eastern Pacific, white sharks have a broad distribution and can be found from Alaska to Mexico. They are most commonly encountered in coastal waters, often near haul-out sites for marine mammals --one of the preferred prey of the adults. While their year-around occurrence off California has led some to believe they were primarily coastal, recent satellite tagging data from adults indicates that they are capable of extensive off-shore movements and can travel from California to Hawaii. Juvenile white sharks are found in the Southern California Bight, which appears to be an important nursery ground.