Thursday, May 6, 2010

Record-Breaking dive for Great White Shark

This is my attempt to give a little positive relief from the frustrating madness of the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I have other stuff for you to read on that subject if you really want more. But, THIS is a little something different from the other side of the globe.

I have been a long time fan of Steve Alten’s work, a local author gone best seller. His earliest works involve a theory that the MEG (Carcharadon megaladon), an extinct monster shark thought (by most) to closely resemble the modern day Great White Shark (Carcaradon carcharias), still exists living in the deep ocean of the Marianna Trench. One debunking argument to that theory was that the great white shark is a coastal predator staying within the first 600 feet of the water’s surface.

This leads to an interesting article documenting some results from a great white shark tagging and tracking program that has been going on for some time. Most recently, and notably, the largest shark NIWA had tagged in an ongoing study – 4.8 meters (~15 feet) long – was recorded diving to 1,200 meters (~4,000 feet)! I love that there is so much to learn about even infamous species such as the great white… I just wish that there was more attention given to this need for ocean research in general.

A variety of websites are noting this feat, but mostly those are blogs – like this one. So I decided to track down a reference for the actual research done and here you go:!

It is not the publication itself, as the findings simply haven’t been published yet, but this link at least traces to the NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) in New Zealand. This article does not focus on the dive itself, but more on the tagging process used and the shark migratory information gathered. It is actually a migration study that happened to discover and record this along with several other 1,000+ meter dives.

RATING ~~~~ (4 out of 5 waves) absolutely worth reading, especially if you like keeping up with ongoing research around the world

I hope your “Cinqo de Mayo” was pleasant and not too rowdy… stay dry when it rains and get in the water while it is still clean!

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