Goblin Shark vs Great White: Who Wins And Comparative Analysis


One of the fascinating sharks out there is goblin sharks. These sharks are mysterious and are not commonly seen. Hence, a comparison between these and the predators of the sea – great white sharks – would be interesting.

Although goblin sharks and great white sharks are sharks, there are significant differences between them. These two sharks are not the same. While we consider one a living fossil, the other is an apex predator of the waters and is pretty ferocious.

Goblin Shark vs Great White
Image Credit: Head of a goblin shark by Dianne Bray / Museum Victoria (CC BY 3.0 AU) from Wikimedia
Image Credit: A great white shark with divers from Pxhere

As a result, we’ll compare and contrast goblin sharks and great white sharks to examine some of the fundamental characteristics that differentiate them from each other. We’ll also try to figure out who has a better chance of winning a battle than the other.

But before we get started, let’s go over some basic information regarding these two sharks.

Goblin Shark vs Great White: Basic Facts

Comparing ParametersGoblin SharkGreat White Shark
Scientific nameMitsukurina owstoniCarcharodon carcharias
FamilyMitsukurinidaeLamnidae
GenusMitsukurinaCarcharodon
Species11
DistributionAtlantic, Pacific & Indian Oceans. Mostly found off the coasts of Japan.Saltwater
Weight330 to 460 pounds4000 pounds
Length10- 12 feet (average)20 feet (approx.)
Swim speed15 mph25 mph
Short bursts of 35 mph
DietFishes, cephalopods, and crustaceansStingrays, turtles, sea lions, seals, and other smaller sharks
Noise MakingNoNo
Danger to humansNoMost likely
LifespanUp to 60 yearsUp to 70 years

Are Goblin Sharks real sharks?

The goblin shark is one of the most uncommon sharks. This is one of the most enigmatic and intriguing shark species. Let us investigate deeper to see if they are genuine.

Even if we can barely see them, goblin sharks exist. These sharks prefer to stay close to the ocean bottom and may be found in all three of the world’s major oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Marine experts, however, have discovered a plethora of them off the coastlines of Japan.

As a result, despite their name, goblin sharks are real. It’s also worth noting that these are dinosaur-coexisting creeper fish. They are also the sole members of the mitsukurina family who are still alive.

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Existence

One of the most interesting facts to explore is the difference between the existence of great white sharks and goblin sharks. It will let us know which one of them is more ancient.

Goblin sharks are one of the most ancient shark species. They are the sole members of the 125 million-year-old mitsukurina family who are still alive. Modern-day great white sharks‌ are thought to have evolved between 10 million and 4 million years ago. Their forefathers, on the other hand, might have lived 56 to 34 million years ago.

Hence, we can state that goblin sharks are more ancient than modern-day great white sharks. 

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Appearance

Image Credit: Goblin shark size by Kurzon (CC BY-SA 3.0) from Wikimedia

There are no two sharks alike. If you look closely, you’ll see certain distinct features distinguishing one shark species from the other.

Great white sharks have the body shape of a torpedo with a crescent-shaped tail, a pointed conical head, and a large pectoral fin. They also have a dark blue topside and a pale underbelly. Goblin sharks, on the other hand, have a soft, spongy physique and pinkish-gray skin. Their blade-like snout is another feature that sets them apart from other sharks.

Goblin sharks belong to the pre-historic era, and their look certainly proves this to be true. It’s easy to tell the difference between a goblin shark and a great white shark. You’ll be able to tell which one is which just by looking at them.

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Size

Sharks come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. While some of them are enormous, others may be small. Let’s compare and contrast the size of a goblin and a great white shark.

Goblin sharks can reach a length of 10- 12 feet (on average). The longest goblin shark, however, was discovered to be 12.6 feet long. A great white shark can grow to be 20 feet long, which is significantly larger than the strange-looking goblin sharks.

As a result, when it comes to size, great white sharks ‌come out on top. These sharks are classified as medium-sized sharks, whereas goblin sharks are classified as small-sized sharks.

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Weight

When we think of sharks, we think of their enormous size and corresponding weight. However, not all sharks weigh humongous. Let’s explore.

Goblin sharks usually weigh around 330 to 460 pounds. This weight aptly matches the small body frame of these sharks. On the contrary, there are bulkier great white sharks that can weigh around 4000 pounds (approx.). So, it is pretty clear who wins the race in this context.

The weight difference between these two shark species is wide. Seen from this perspective, a great white shark will surely put down a goblin shark. 

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Diet

Although sharks are carnivorous, their diet or eating habits are not uniform. Depending on their habitat and body structure, different sharks have different eating habits.

Goblin sharks are primarily found in deep oceans where food is scarce, so they ‌prey on small fishes and invertebrates. However, these sharks also feed on cephalopods or crustaceans. Great white sharks also feed on smaller fishes and shark species. These sharks are aggressive and will not spare sea lions, turtles, seals, and stingrays.

It’s important to remember that great white sharks are opportunistic feeders, meaning they’ll consume anything easy and safe. Whale and basking shark carcasses would also be welcome food for these sharks.

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Habitat

Goblin sharks are one of the rarest sharks to be seen. This makes us wonder where do these sharks live? Let’s delve deep through a comparative analysis.

Goblin sharks live in the deepest parts of the ocean. They are found in depths ranging from 100m to 1,300m in all three major oceans and around the Japanese shores. Great white sharks are not uncommon, and we can find them in warm coastal waters. These sharks can be spotted off the coasts of the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, among other locations.

It’s worth noting that great white sharks are exceptional swimmers who can travel large distances at speeds of up to 25 mph, such as from California to Hawaii. Goblin sharks, on the other hand, are slow swimmers who can only move at 15 mph.

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Teeth

Image Credit: Guadalupe Island Great White Shark Face by Sharkcrew (CC BY-SA 4.0) from Wikimedia

Since sharks are carnivorous, teeth play a crucial role in their hunting habits. However, teeth’s pattern and size vary depending on the type of prey these sharks feed on.

The teeth of goblin sharks are small and narrow, measuring less than 1cm in length. Great white shark teeth, on the other hand, are triangular, sharp, long, and serrated. Great white sharks use these teeth to penetrate and rip through their prey’s flesh.

Great white sharks are known for their razor-sharp teeth and powerful bite, making them one of the ocean’s top predators. However, things are different with goblin sharks. The sling-shot bite and jaws of these fish make them more popular. To be precise, a goblin shark’s jaws can extend nearly 10% of the length of its total body at a speed of 3.1 meters per second.

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Hunting Style

Sharks have a variety of hunting styles. While some prefer to ambush from below, others pin their prey to the ground before delivering the fatal bite.

Great whites like to dash towards their victim at breakneck speed before bumping it and biting it at the same time. Their serrated teeth enable them to take a large quantity of meat off their prey. A goblin shark‌ loves to approach its prey before flinging its jaw like a slingshot and eating it whole.

Goblin sharks and great white sharks are both excellent hunters. Although their hunting may be different, their hunting approaches categorize them as aggressive sharks. 

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Behavior

Have you ever considered how sharks interact with one another? Although sharks are not gregarious animals in general, the behavior of goblin sharks and great white sharks is worth highlighting.

Sharks don’t seem to have any kind of social behavior. Nonetheless, it is reasonable to conclude that great white sharks prefer to swim and hunt alone. Also, these sharks are curious and will bite items to get a better understanding of them. Goblin sharks, on the other hand, are rare. As a result, we have no precise information regarding their overall behavior.

Goblin sharks, however, are considered to be less aggressive than most aggressive shark species, including hammerheads, tigers, and great whites. 

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Predators

Sharks are considered being aggressive, but these apex predators can fall prey in the hands of stronger predators. Let’s explore.

Great white sharks sit at the top of the food chain, and they do not have any natural predators except killer whales. But humans pose a greater threat to great white sharks, as they hunt them for meat, fins, oil, and so on. Goblin sharks, on the other hand, may have predators like Blue Sharks, and other bigger sharks. 

Here, it is essential to note that nothing much is known about goblin sharks. They are rarely to be found and seen. Hence, experts have little information regarding their ‌predators. 

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Longevity 

Sharks usually have a lifespan of 30- 50 years. But this should not be taken at the face value, since some sharks can live as long as 150 years. 

In this regard, great white sharks have about 70 years of lifespan on average. On the contrary, limited studies have estimated that goblin sharks have an average lifespan of 60 years.

Goblin Shark vs. Great White: Attacks on Humans

Sharks aren’t really interested in humans. Shark attacks on people are not unheard of, however. Let’s look at which shark species is most likely to attack humans: great whites or goblins.

It’s unusual for goblin sharks to rise to the surface and display themselves to humans. As a result, there is a 0.00001 percent chance that these sharks may attack humans. With a great white shark, the situation is quite different. These sharks are vicious and are known for attacking humans without provocation. 

It is essential to consider that humans are not sharks’ prey. But they can be attacked by these fishes out of curiosity or mistaken for prey such as seals.

Summary

So we have come to the end of this post. But before wrapping it up, we would like to analyze which shark will come out as the winner of this comparative study. The answer is no one. This is so because goblin sharks and great white sharks are strikingly different from each other. There is almost no chance that they will come across each other frequently to get into a fight. Still, we would like to state that both these sharks are aggressive in their own ways. They are unique and fascinating creatures worth to be studied.

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