Researchers are tracking a 2,000-pound female great white shark that went out of its way as it swim into the open sea to avoid mating attempts from male great whites.
The female shark is called Unama'ki that was traced to the open ocean, and currently located 700 miles at the east of Cape Cod, reported by Newsweek.
Tracking the shark is possible by hooking up a device that pings a satellite each time her dorsal fin is out of the water. OCEARCH is studying this 15-foot plus female shark to understand its habits in its habitat, according to Awesome Ocean.
Scientists have been tracking the pings since last week showing indications that she was moving north really fast, but recent pings indicate that it might be loitering in a section of the middle Atlantic.
Indicator form tracking data in early April shows that Unama'ki was moving away from the east US coast, moving to deeper parts of the ocean in a pelagic journey.
OCEARCH has noticed that such pelagic journeys in great loops are done by great white sharks. Characterized by moving from American coasts to the deep waters, and coming back home again are mostly large adult females, which they do but not always.
Scientists think that large females like Unama'ki will do these great ocean journeys if they might be pregnant. This interests science because Unama'ki might lead them to an existing great white nursery in the deep oceam, reported The News Observer.
One such nursery has been identified as one big female was tracked by heading straight to the New York Bight. This must be proof that sharks will gestate in the deep and open ocean, OCEARCH's founding chairman and expedition leader Chris Fischer informed Newsweek.
Fischer said there might be three options why female great whites were into deep pelagic swims when they are pregnant.
One of these reasons is avoiding males who want to mate, another is they are using the ocean temperatures to influence the gestation of the young. They might also need access to food supply that is good for mother sharks. Fischer mentioned all these are ideas that might explain things.
OCEARCH has been researching from 2007 with data collected to understand how the great white shark lives in the ocean.
Over time, according to Fischer, great whites will do these pelagic loops, adding that male great whites do routine migrations as well. Most of the time, these male great whites will be seen in their usual places every year like clockwork.
Compared to male sharks, females like Unama'ki will be a bit irregular, with large pelagic swings, on irregular intervals, whenever they are gestating. Once their routes are figured out, how these females migrate is quite predictable too.
The researchers at OCEARCH are thinking that Unama'ki will be on her way to Nova Scotia, and Canada where she got the tracker on in September 2019. According to the scientists, there might be a group of great whites in the north-west Atlantic, Nova Scotia is where one group congregates.
These two groups have different patterns in summer and fall feeding, according to Fischer. He added that Unama'ki is a member of either group.
The more OCEARCH tracks the 2,000-pound female great white shark, they will know more about their habits.
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