Wild Things: Great Whites, Tree Snakes, Drongos and More | Science | Smithsonian
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(Jayne Yack)

Wild Things: Great Whites, Tree Snakes, Drongos and More

These animals redefine life as we know it

More Than They Can Chew

great white shark
(Richard Herrmann / Oxford Scientific / Photolibrary)

Great white sharks have the strongest known bite of any living animal. But until they grow to about ten feet in length, says study leader Toni Ferrara of the University of New South Wales, they are “awkward teenagers.” Their jaws don’t have enough stiff cartilage to withstand the stress of chomping on large prey. This may explain why juvenile sharks that attack human swimmers often shy away after the first nibble.

Learn more about the great white shark at the Encyclopedia of Life.

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