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Pictures Great white shark dorsal fins breaking surface near Seal Island, False Bay, Geyser Rock and Dyer Island.

Great White Shark Dorsal Fin



Shortly before sunset we were sailing with our boat close to Seal Island in the False Bay. There is a large seal colony on this island. Some fish bait hangs on a small red buoy, which is held into the water from the boat. A great white shark has followed the trail of the scent and has reached our boat. The dorsal fin can be seen quite distinctively. It is an individual, special feature of recognition of the shark, unique and unmistakable.

Following the article, which appeared in the edition of „Wissenschaft” on 20th August, 2004, US biomechanics have deciphered the use of the rakish shape of the shark fin. The dorsal fin and also the tail fin with its asymmetric composition ensure the mobility of the shark. The researchers analysed the swirls of current (high-speed camera), created in an upward motion by the enlarged fin. “The current conducts the water simultaneously backwards and downwards”, as explained by Cheryl Wilga and George Lauder from the Rhode Island University. “In this way the vertical manoeuvrablility is increased.“

With fishes with symmetrical fins, swirls of current are formed around a rotational axis, however the shark allows the water to flow in a more complicated way. Two swirl centres layered above each other stabilise it with sideways (or lateral) and vertical movements (Wissenschaft 20/08/2004).





Biological Profile



Carcharodon carcharias
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species


total photos: 56

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Dorsal fin of a Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Dorsal fin of a Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

Great White Shark dorsal fin - sleek and efficient
Great White Shark dorsal fin - sleek and efficient

The characteristic dorsal fin of great white shark
The characteristic dorsal fin of great white shark

Dorsal fin of the Great White Shark, cutting through the water
Dorsal fin of the Great White Shark, cutting through the water

Iimpressive: The dorsal fin of the great white shark
Iimpressive: The dorsal fin of the great white shark

Reflections in the dorsal fin of the white shark.
Reflections in the dorsal fin of the white shark.

White shark dorsal fin cutting through the water
White shark dorsal fin cutting through the water

Each dorsal fin of a white shark is unique
Each dorsal fin of a white shark is unique

Dorsal fin Great White Shark near Seal Island
Dorsal fin Great White Shark near Seal Island

Great White Shark dorsal fin (carcharodon carcharias)
Great White Shark dorsal fin (carcharodon carcharias)

Unique markings on Great White Shark Dorsal fin
Unique markings on Great White Shark Dorsal fin

Dorsal fin Great White Shark - sleek and unmistakeable
Dorsal fin Great White Shark - sleek and unmistakeable

Dorsal fin of the Great White Shark, cutting through the water
Dorsal fin of the Great White Shark, cutting through the water

Unique Identification: white shark dorsal fin
Unique Identification: white shark dorsal fin

Great White Shark Dorsal Fin on the water surface
Great White Shark Dorsal Fin on the water surface

Great white shark dorsal fin
Great white shark dorsal fin

Great White Shark dorsal fin near Seal Island
Great White Shark dorsal fin near Seal Island

Great White Shark dorsal fin with unique features
Great White Shark dorsal fin with unique features

Typical and unique: The dorsal fin of the great white shark
Typical and unique: The dorsal fin of the great white shark

Dorsal fin of Great White Shark
Dorsal fin of Great White Shark

Dorsal fin of the Great White Shark - unmistakeable
Dorsal fin of the Great White Shark - unmistakeable

Great White Shark dorsal fin above Water
Great White Shark dorsal fin above Water

Great white shark dorsal fin approaching frontal
Great white shark dorsal fin approaching frontal

Typical white shark dorsal fin
Typical white shark dorsal fin

Dorsal fin of a Great White Shark
Dorsal fin of a Great White Shark

Great white shark dorsal fin in the sunlight
Great white shark dorsal fin in the sunlight

Dorsal fin of a Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Dorsal fin of a Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

Dorsal fin of the Great White Shark off Seal Island
Dorsal fin of the Great White Shark off Seal Island

White shark dorsal fin cutting through the water
White shark dorsal fin cutting through the water

Great white shark dorsal fin right on the boat
Great white shark dorsal fin right on the boat

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