The most dangerous creature in the world is not what you think it might be. (Photo: wholelifehawaii.org.)
The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is a large lamniform cartilaginous shark that inhabits the coastal surface waters of all the earth’s major oceans. Reaching over 20 feet long and three and a half tons, the mature great white can travel 15-35 mph and lives into its 70s.
Scientists agree that their number[s] are decreasing precipitously due to overfishing and accidental catching in gill nets, among other factors, and they are listed as an endangered species.–National Geographic
An apex predator of the seas, the great white shark is thought to have have no natural predators there. It also has the dubious honor of having made more unprovoked and fatal attacks on humans than any other marine species. Maybe 50 nonfatal attacks, many fewer lethal ones.
It apparently does not consider humans a delicacy, preferring large bony fish, other sharks, marine mammals like fur seals, sea lions, and whales, and carrion. New research has found that great whites are naturally curious. When they take humans in their mouths, they are “sample biting” their victims and then releasing them.
In 2008, scientists at The Zoological Society of London made a three-dimensional computer analysis of a white shark’s cartilaginous jaw mechanics and calculated the great white’s serrated bite at over c. 1.8 tonnes (over 18,000 newtons, or 4,000 pound-force), the highest known for any living species.
By contrast, homo sapiens sapiens is a puny creature. However, its bite has destroyed entire civilizations.