White Shark

Great white shark (Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk / CC BY-ND)

Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are the largest living predatory fish on the planet, reaching 6.4 meters (21 feet) in length. Their upper bodies are grayish, and their underbellies are white. Their streamlined, torpedo-shaped bodies make them fast swimmers, reaching a top speed of 56 kilometers (35 miles) per hour. White sharks are dangerous to humans and should be considered such by divers. As of 2013, 279 unprovoked attacks (78 fatal) on humans have been reported. On the IUCN Red List, the white shark is classified as vulnerable.

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This supplemental online resource accompanies the book Scuba Diving Hand Signals by Lars Behnke, available on Amazon.