Researchers track 16-foot, 3,000lb shark, give it a Twitter account
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 March, 2015 - Jacksonville, Florida - In 2013, researchers caught and tagged the dorsal fin of an enormous female Great White off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. Over the past two years, Lydia, as the shark has come to be called, has given researchers the first ever concrete details about Great White behavior. And those details have been tweeted around the globe (her handle is @RockStarLydia) to the shark's 3,000+ followers.
In a piece published today in The Canadian Press, researchers say "[Lydia] appears to be navigating an uncannily accurate pattern that had her making a beeline for the Florida coast almost exactly two years to the day she was tagged."
For researchers, the information gathered from Lydia's Atlantic exploits has been truly incredible. For instance, in two years Lydia has traveled more than 56,000 kilometers, and at times dives to more than 1,000 meters below the ocean's surface.
According to the piece, "What we previously considered to be a much smaller habitat scope, thanks to Lydia, is much larger," Gregory Skomal, a senior scientist at the Massachusetts division of Marine Fisheries, said from Bedford, Mass. "We're talking about habitat that spans the entire North Atlantic ocean. That's amazing, and we're getting that from Lydia."
There is much more to learn from Lydia's behavior, and researchers are hopeful she will be the key to understanding one of the world's most feared, misunderstood, and elusive predators.