The skin of the great white shark is not covered with scales, but with pointed dermal denticles, measuring from a few tenths of a millimeter to 1 cm, consisting of dentin covered with enamel. Their main function is to make the water flow along the body of the shark in a highly hydrodynamic way and also protect it from parasites.
Does the great white shark have the most powerful bite in nature?
The white shark has what, by popular belief, has been for years considered the most powerful jaw among living animals, however more recent studies have found that the bite of crocodiles is up to fifteen times more powerful.
In truth, the bite of the great white shark is not even in the top 10 most powerful bites in the animal kingdom, probably because the shark evolved to hunt prey such as seals, fish and dolphins, creatures with an all in all soft and unarmored body, unlike terrestrial predators such as tigers or bears which have evolved to hunt large herbivores with a powerful size and a massive and robust constitution.
It should also be noted that the white shark, unlike the latter, does not need a particularly strong bite because it kills its smaller preys by swallowing them immediately and the larger ones by tearing off their flesh and then waiting for them to bleed to death, whereas these animals to kill their preys must exert a great force to suffocate them.
For comparison, the bite force of a 1.5 t great white shark does not exceed 3000 N, equal to one fifth of its body mass, while the jaw pressure is equal to 281 kg/cm2. The same force is exerted by a lion, but with six times less weight, while a marine crocodile of half its weight can bite with a force of over 40000 N (4000 kg force) per 1000 kg/cm2.
The mouth of the white shark is equipped with several rows of teeth: triangular and serrated on the upper arch for dicing the prey, long and pointed on the lower one for stabbing and holding the prey. The teeth can reach up to 7.5 cm in length.
Thanks to the mirabile net that allows him to make the most of the heat generated by his powerful muscles and metabolism, he manages to achieve a slight endothermy, which allows his body to be particularly reactive and performing during hunting.