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According to the new study these two white sharks often spend their time deep inside warm-water eddies.
The study, published May 9, 2018, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Scientific Reports, tracked two adult female white sharks in the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Ocean for nearly six years.
The name of the shark is Mary Lee that was tagged in September 2012, and the other shark’s name is Lydia in March 2013. Six years later, one of them still reports her position regularly, as they swim north with the Gulf Stream and then out into the open ocean. The tricky job of tagging the animals was realized by OCEARCH, a nonprofit that concentrate on tracking sharks.
Study lead author Peter Gaube is a senior oceanographer at University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory.
Researchers took the data from the two sharks and compared their position in the ocean with sea-surface height data where the huge, swirling warm- and cold-water eddies were located at that time, Gaube said in a statement.
“These eddies are everywhere. They cover 30 percent of the ocean’s surface. It’s like what you see if you’re walking along a river, and these eddies form behind rocks, but it happens on a different scale in the ocean: Instead of being a little thing that disappears after a few seconds, they can be the size of the state of Massachusetts, and can persist for months to years. You could be in the middle of an eddy in a ship and you’d probably never know it. The water may be a little warmer, and it could be a little clearer, but otherwise you wouldn’t know” mentions earthsky.org.
Here you can watch the video of how OCEARCH tagged and released the first great white in Florida waters, Lydia!