White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are the ocean's largest predatory sharks. The occasional encounter with humans (and movie producers) has made them the most famous. Although they can grow to almost 21 feet (7 meters), the length of an average shark is closer to 15 feet (5 meters); they weigh about 1,500 pounds (700 kg). White sharks, like some other fish such as salmon sharks and tuna, are warm-bodied -- that is, parts of their bodies can be warmer than the cold water in which they swim.
In the eastern Pacific, white sharks can be found from Alaska to Mexico, but you don't often see them north of Washington State. They hang out near haul-out sites for marine mammals, their main food. People used to believe they roamed only along the California coast. But our tags show that they travel regularly from California to Hawaii. Juvenile white sharks are found in the Southern California Bight, which appears to be an important nursery ground.