Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)

Photo by Terry Goss, Copyright 2006, GNU Free Documentation License


Class Chondrichthyes

Order Lamniformes

Family Lamnidae Müller & Henle, 1838

Genus Carcharodon Smith in Müller & Henle 1838

Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758)


Protective laws in Germany/EU:

- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Speciesof Wild Fauna and Flora annex: II

- Council Regulation 338/1997 annex: B

- BArtSchV Novellierung Anhang: 1 (Fußnote (6): nur Population des Mittelmeeres)

- BNatSchG Anhang: b (streng bzw. besonders geschützt)


Common name:

Weißer Hai, Menschenhai, Weißhai
Great white shark, Man eater
Jaquentón blanco, Jaquetón de ley, Marrajo, Tiburón blanco, Devorador de hombres
Tubarão-branco, Tubarao de Sao Tomé, Tubarão-anequim, Anequim
Grand requin blanc, Mangeur d'hommes
Squalo bianco, Pisci cani, Pesci can, Manzo de mar, Mangia alici, Canesca, Pisci bistinu
Hvid Haj, Stor hvid haj, Blå haj
Witte haai, Mensenhaai
Kelb Abjad, Huta tax-Xmara, Kelb il - Bahar Abjad
Žralok bílý veliký
Zarlacz ludojad
Rechin alb, Rechin mancator de oameni


Geographical Distribution:

all over the world - with the exeption of the cold area of the Arctic and the Antarctic, as well as the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea.

source: Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License



Size (max.): 792 cm (female)

Weight (max): ca. 3,400 kg

Age (max): ca. 36 years

Body fusiform, snout conical and relatively short, long gill slits not encircling the head. Large first dorsal fin with the origin over pectoral fin inner margins. Second dorsal and anal fins minute. Caudal fin homocercal (crescent shaped), without a secondary keel below extension of caudal keel.
Dorsal surface blue-grey to grey-brown, often bronzy. Ventral surface is white. Boundary between these tones is generally abrupt. Small, irregular dark spots may be present on the flanks posterior to the last gill slit. Most specimens exhibit a black oval blotch in the axil of the pectoral fin.
Teeth large, erect, triangular and serrated. More slender in lower jaw. In juveniles under 1.8 m (5.5 ft), the teeth have small lateral cusplets and in neonates, the lower teeth may actually lack marginal serration.

Numer ot teeth:  upper jaw: 23 - 28 teeth, lower jaw: 20 - 26.

Size (max.) of the teeth: more than 6,00 cm.


Usual article of trade of C. carcharias:


Carcharodon carcharias, jaw

Usual country of trade:

all countrys; import by post: China (e.g. eBay), sporadic USA.

Carcharodon carcharias, upper jawCarcharodon carcharias, upper jaw

tooth of the upper jaw, ca. 5 cm (labial/lingual)

Carcharodon carcharias, lower jawCarcharodon carcharias, lower jawCarcharodon carcharias, lower jawCarcharodon carcharias, lower jaw
teeth of the lower jaw, ca. 2,4 cm (labial/lingual)


other serrated shark teeth:

Galeocerdo cuvier (Tigerhai):

Galeocerdo cuvier, tiger sharkGaleocerdo cuvier, tiger shark

Size ot the teeth: ca. 2,5 cm (labial/lingual)

Galeocerdo cuvier, tiger sharkGaleocerdo cuvier, tiger shark

Closeup views


Carcharinus leucas (Bullshark):

Carcharhinus leucas, bullsharkCarcharhinus leucas, bullshark

Size ot the teeth: ca. 2,5 cm (labial/lingual)



source and images: Abercrombie, D.L., Chapman, D.D., Gulak, S.J.B., and Carlson, J.K. 2013. Visual Identification of Fins from Common Elasmobranchs in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. NMFS-SEFSC-643, 51p.


First dorsal fin description

- Fin is dark grey to greyish-brown in color.

- Leading edge flattens out at apex.

- Trailing edge typically ragged in appearance.

- Short free rear tip.

- Rough, sandpaper-like texture.

Similar species: Shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) first dorsal fins (and possibly longfin makos) are similar in shape, but are typically more erect (not flattening out at apex) and dark, slate grey in color. Dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) dorsal fins are similar in shape and color but have a long free rear tip.


Pectoral fin description

The dorsal side of the fin is dark brown or greyish-brown in color. Black markings at the apex are only visible on the ventral surface. The trailing edge of the fin is often ragged in appearance. The free rear tip has a white margin on the trailing edge of the dorsal surface.

Similar species: Scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), blacktip (Carcharhinus limbatus) and spinner (Carcharhinus brevipinna) pectoral fins also have black markings concentrated at the apex on the ventral surface. Scalloped hammerheads have much shorter, broader fins, while blacktip and spinners have a glossy sheen on the dorsal surface.



Carcharodon carchariasCarcharodon carchariasCarcharodon carcharias



Carcharodon carcharias at

Carcharodon carcharias at

Carcharodon carcharias at (in german)

Carcharodon carcharias (bibliography) at