Full Story at NPR
Great white sharks have a “hidden life” that is becoming a lot less hidden thanks to a scientific expedition that has been years in the making.
Scientists used to think the apex predators moved up and down the western coast of North America, snacking in waters with lots of food close to shore. Almost 20 years ago, Stanford marine biologist Barbara Block started putting tags on the sharks that could track their movements.
She and other researchers noticed something surprising — the tags showed that the sharks were moving away from these food-rich waters and heading more than a thousand miles off the coast of Baja California in Mexico.
Satellite images suggested the area was an ocean desert, a place with very little life.
The mystery of what was drawing the sharks to this strange place set new research into motion.
“We wanted to know if there was a hidden oasis that was formed by the currents that we couldn’t see from space,” Block said.
To find out, the scientists tagged over 30 great white sharks last fall — more than they had ever done in a single season. They’ve already gotten to know some of these animals from years of research. They’ve even given them names, such as Eugene, Tilden and Leona.