Great White Shark vs Blue Whale: Who Wins And Comparative Analysis


Great white sharks and blue whales are two different species of marine creatures. While the former is a fish, the latter is categorized under mammals.

One of the foremost contrasts between a great white shark and a blue whale is that the latter is the largest animal. And although great whites are amongst the bigger sharks, they are way smaller than blue whales. Moreover, their appearances are pretty different, making it easy to differentiate.

Great White Shark vs Blue Whale
Image Credit: Great white shark south Africa by Hermanus Backpackers (CC BY 2.0) from Wikimedia
Image Credit: A Blue Whale leaping out of the water from Pixhere

There are huge differences between a great white shark and a blue whale, which we will be focusing on in this article. This informative post will help explore the differences between a great white shark and a blue whale. In addition, we will be answering some of the most commonly asked questions in this regard.

So, without any further ado, let’s delve deep!

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Basic Comparison

Before we delve into the frequently asked questions, here is a summarised version of some basic information about a great white shark and a blue whale. 

Comparing ParametersGreat White SharkBlue Whale
Scientific nameCarcharodon carchariasBalaenoptera musculus
Species/ Sub-species14
FamilyLamnidaeBalaenopteridae
GenusCarcharodonBalaenoptera
DistributionSaltwaterAll oceans except for the Arctic
Weight4000 lbsUp to 441000 lbs
Length20 feet (approx.)Up to 100 feet(largest animal on earth)
Swim speed25 mph
Short bursts of 35 mph
Cruise at 5mph
Accelerate at 20mph
DietStingrays, turtles, sea lions, seals, and other smaller sharksKrill
Noise MakingNoLoudest- up to 188 decibels
Bite force4000 pounds per square inchWhales do not bite
Danger to humansMost likelyNo
LifespanUp to 70 yearsUp to 90 years

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Weight

There is no doubt in the fact that blue whales are huge. In fact, these mammals are considered to be the heaviest on planet earth. So let’s explore the difference in detail.

Great whites are among the ”big threes” of the ocean and can weigh up to 4000lbs (approx.). This is a huge weight but much lesser than a blue whale. On the other hand, the latter can weigh up to 441000 lbs, which is a whopping weight. Therefore, it can be stated that a blue whale is 125x bigger than great whites by mass. 

If we compare it with other animals, the average weight of a blue whale is equivalent to 30 or more African bush elephants. Another fascinating fact is that a blue whale’s heart is one of the largest in the animal world, weighing approximately 400 pounds.

The adults and baby blue whales weigh more than an average-sized great white shark, at 8800 lbs

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Size

Image Credit: The Blue Whale is the world’s largest animal from Rawpixel

Great white sharks are smaller than blue whales. So let’s explore in detail the difference between their size.

Great white sharks can grow up to the size of 20 feet. Blue whales, on the other hand, are far larger. These mammals can grow from 100 feet-110 feet. Interestingly, blue whales are even larger than the largest megalodon (58.7 feet) that ever existed. 

As we already stated, blue whales are the largest mammals on earth. From the perspective of their size and weight, these animals are larger than great white sharks and thus, stand as the winner in this case. 

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Appearance 

When it comes to comparing sharks with blue whales, how can we not focus on their appearance? The very different appearance of both these creatures makes it easiest to distinguish them.

A great white shark is more like a pointed torpedo. They feature a strong wedge tail, a pointy snout, and big pectoral and dorsal fins. A pale belly and a dark blue, grey, or brown back are also features of great whites. The hue of blue whales, on the other hand, is a speckled blue-gray. They also have a yellowish underside and a long, tapering body with a broad, flat head.

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Teeth

When we think of sharks, we think of their razor-sharp teeth. However, we do not generally talk about the teeth of whales. So let’s explore the teeth of great sharks and blue whales. 

Great white sharks have more than 300 triangular serrated teeth meant to penetrate their victim’s skin. On the other hand, blue whales do not have teeth but baleen plates dangling from their upper mandible’s roof. These baleen plates are colossal comb bristles that enable the filtration of millions of krills from water.

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Bite Force

Image Credit: A Great White Shark has the 2nd highest bite force by MLbay from Pixabay

When it comes to predatory animals, we always wonder about their bite force. Of course, it means how fiercely they bite their prey. 

Great white sharks have a bite force of 4000 pounds per square inch in this respect. These sharks have the 2nd strongest bite force in the animal kingdom. However, much opposite to sharks, blue whales do not possess any teeth, so they do not need to bite their prey to consume them. 

In the place of teeth, blue whales have developed baleens that aid in the filter-feeding system. Blue whales’ feeding style is similar to basking sharks, as they are both filter feeders. 

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Behavior

Whenever it’s a shark, it has to be aggressive. But what about whales? Are both these species equally aggressive, or is there any difference in their aggression level? Let’sLet’s explore.

Great sharks are infamous for being highly aggressive. As a result, they are highly feared and known to attack humans unprovoked and attack other species of sharks, including hammerheads. On the other hand, blue whales are not known to attack humans. Although blue whales can be aggressive due to their humongous size, they are less likely to be if not provoked.

As far as hunting is concerned, great whites are lone hunters. On the other hand, blue whales often swine alone or in a pair of two. 

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Habitat

The habitat requirements of blue whales are different from that of great white sharks. So let’s explore to learn more.

Great white sharks prefer to stay along the shoreline and in the open ocean. They do, however, occasionally venture into bays and harbors as well. In terms of depth, these fish are frequently found between the surface and1280 meters of oceans. On the other hand, blue whales can be found in all major ocean bodies across the globe, except the arctic.

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Communication

We may not be aware that fishes can also communicate in their ways. Let’s look at the mode of communication of great white sharks and blue whales.

Sharks are silent creatures. To respond to any stimuli in the water, they largely rely on their sense of smell and vision, as well as the cells on the underside of their snout. Blue whales, on the other hand, communicate uniquely. They normally generate a deep, rumbling sound that can reach a decibel level of 188.

It is often stated that blue whales are the loudest animals. Their sound can surpass the sound of the take-off of a jet plane (140 decibels). 

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Lifespan

Both sharks and whales live long. But there are differences in their lifespan. 

It is calculated that a great white shark can live up to 70 years. On the contrary, a blue whale can have an average lifespan of up to 90 years. It should, however, be noted that whales that live in captivity tend to have a low span of life.  

Great White Shark vs. Blue Whale: Predators 

Although great white sharks and blue whales are large creatures, they are not free from potential predators. Let’sLet’s explore more.

Great whites do not have natural predators other than orcas (on certain occasions). Nonetheless, these sharks have the greatest predators in humans that kill them in the name of culling shark attacks for their meat, fins, liver oil, and so on. In some instances, killer whales have been found to attack lone blue whales. But these mammals are mostly hunted by humans for their meat.

Summary

Hence, who will win the race comes to the obvious answer than blue whales. However, we cannot straightforwardly state that blue whales will win in every aspect over great white sharks. Both these creatures are very much different from each other. They have features that make them unique. But in some respect, a blue whale will surely beat a great white shark, for instance, in size, weight, longevity, and so on.

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