Sarasota scientists making new discoveries on Great White Sharks - WFLA News Channel 8

Sarasota scientists making new discoveries on Great White Sharks

Posted: Updated:
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory are making groundbreaking research on Great White Sharks.  Last week they joined a team of researchers from around the country to tag a Great White off the coast of Florida.  It was a historic opportunity that's changing everything they ever knew about Great White sharks.

On March 3rd, off the coast of Jacksonville, Mote Marine scientists finally made their elusive catch- a Great White shark.  Within minutes, the scientists took samples and attached tracking devices, while keeping the shark alive.  This was the first time a great white has ever been tagged anywhere south of Massachusetts.

Dr. Nick Whitney helped tag the shark they call 'Lydia.'  With the devices attached to the shark scientists are able to track where she swims, eats and mates.  "We're learning where the animals go in almost real time," said Dr. Whitney.

Since Lydia was tagged scientists have tracked her swimming eastward into the Atlantic. But back in September, these scientists tagged a Great White off the coast of Massachusetts named Mary Lee. And since then, she's traveled up and down the entire eastern seaboard. During the dead of winter, she even swam back to New England, which was shocking to scientists.

Now she's headed toward the Bahamas.  Shark researcher Dr. Bob Huetter said, "[Mary Lee is] basically rewriting what we thought we knew about the migratory habits of the Great White Shark."

Huetter says Lydia will contribute to this new knowledge on great whites.  Huetter said, "We hope to understand more about the habitats, the needs, and the overall life cycle of the Great Whites in the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico."

For these scientists, these tags are opening up a whole new frontier of research.  You can actually track these sharks yourself if you'd like.  Just go to our homepage and click on ‘Links Mentioned.' Then click on ‘Shark tracking.'

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:06:23 GMT
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
  • SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:50:00 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
  • An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:53:07 GMT
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Pool parasite invades Pinellas County

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:19:12 GMT
    Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool. Health officials say the parasite that causes 'Crypto' could be in your pool.
    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks.

    Health Department officials in Pinellas County are putting out a warning about a parasite that can lurk in swimming pools and water parks. And, if it invades your body, you're in for a rough ride - it's called Cryptosporidium.


  • Lakeland gymnastics coach accused of sex with minor

    Lakeland gymnastics coach accused of sex with minor

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:56:59 GMT
    A man who works as a gymnastics coach in Lakeland has been accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
    A man who works as a gymnastics coach in Lakeland has been accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
  • Bay area man headed to prison following sexual assault conviction

    Bay area man headed to prison following sexual assault conviction

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:16 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:16:02 GMT
    Hulsey, 22, was serve at least 25 years of his prison sentence. Hulsey, 22, was serve at least 25 years of his prison sentence.
    A 22-year-old Bay area man was sentenced to more than 36 years behind bars Wednesday for his role in the 2012 sexual battery of a 12-year-old girl.Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Newton handed down the sentence for Zachary Thomas Hulsey.
    A 22-year-old Bay area man was sentenced to more than 36 years behind bars Wednesday for his role in the 2012 sexual battery of a 12-year-old girl.Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Newton handed down the sentence for Zachary Thomas Hulsey.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • 8 ways to save on groceries without coupons

    8 ways to save on groceries without coupons

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:07 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:07:49 GMT
    Wikimedia Commons photo by Eja2kWikimedia Commons photo by Eja2k
    ShopSmart magazine sent undercover shoppers through grocery store aisles and discovered plenty of ways to lower your grocery bill.
    ShopSmart magazine sent undercover shoppers through grocery store aisles and discovered plenty of ways to lower your grocery bill.
  • Couple's selfie photobombed by lightning bolt

    Couple's selfie photobombed by lightning bolt

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:56 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:56:28 GMT
    A couple vacationing in Mexico was almost hit by lightning, a few sources including Washington Post reported Tuesday.
    A couple vacationing in Mexico was almost hit by lightning, a few sources including Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.