The Author has condensed virtually everything that is known about the great white sharks that are preserved in European museums in this book. Available data of 105 great white sharks from 45 institutions is presented herein. Most material consists of taxidermied specimens and jaws. Most specimens with known capture locations come from the Mediterranean Sea. The majority of specimens are very old. The jaws belonging to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, dated from at least 1640-1660, are the oldest white shark material preserved in Europe. The largest specimens of which parts are preserved in any European museum may be those of which skeletal parts are preserved in the Museo di Anatomia Comparata of Rome, Italy, and the Museo Zoologico 'La Specola' of Florence, Italy. The cast of a 5.65 m female great white shark preserved in the Musée cantonal de Zoologie of Lausanne, is the world s largest that has been reconstructed directly from a whole specimen. The largest skin-mounted specimen is a 5.22 m female preserved in the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale of Trieste. The 1.50 m female preserved in the Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum of Frankfurt is the smallest taxidermied white shark preserved in Europe. The publication also includes a concise general account of white shark evolution, anatomy, physiology, reproduction, feeding, attacks on humans and fishery. Up-to-date literature references are included. Extensively researched, this encyclopedic account is enhanced by many photographs and drawings, that bring to life the extraordinary world of the great white shark. The ease of reading of the book and its thoroughness will make it a welcomed addition to any naturalist's library.
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Alessandro De Maddalena is one of Europe's foremost shark experts. He is the curator of the Italian Great White Shark Data Bank, the President of the Italian Ichthyological Society and a founding member of the Mediterranean Shark Research Group. His research subjects include great white shark biology, sharks' morphology, distribution and fishery. He is the author of six other books on sharks and is also one of the world's best wildlife illustrators.
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