Why Great White Sharks Hang Out in Warm Whirlpools
New research on famous white sharks Mary Lee and Lydia shows the giant fish spend a surprising amount of time in warm oceanic eddies.
The lives of great white sharks, despite their notoriety, remain murky.
Foremost among the many questions that remain: Where do they spend most of their time, and what guides their enigmatic movements? Why do adults often head to the open ocean, far from the prey-rich coasts where they spend much of their youth?
New research helps shed light on both questions. In a study published recently in the journal Scientific Reports, scientists tracked two female great whites—popularly known as Mary Lee and Lydia—using advanced satellite tags in the western Atlantic. The team found that when the animals head to the open ocean, they spend much of their time diving within warm circular currents, known as anticyclonic eddies.