SciTech

Great white shark makes U-turn off Carolinas coast. It may mean ‘something big,’ researchers say

A great white shark was traveling north, hugging the coast of the Carolinas, when she suddenly veered off into deeper waters and took a sharp U-turn earlier this month.

It could mean “something big,” researchers said, since they’ve seen other female great whites travel in a similar pattern, and they think they might know why.

“It’s a move we’ve tracked other mature females make,” said OCEARCH, a research organization that tracks sharks. “We suspect it means they are gestating.”

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So does this mean Miss Costa, a 12-foot-5-inch great white weighing in at 1,668 pounds, is pregnant?

Only time will tell, OCEARCH said, and the organization plans to continue to track Miss Costa’s progress.

Little is known about great white shark mating and reproduction, and a birth has never been observed in the wild.

White shark embryos develop inside eggs in a “brood chamber” within their mothers. Shark pups hatch from the egg inside their mother’s uterus and are born soon after.

Whites reproduce once every two to three years and produce between two and 10 pups per litter.

Miss Costa has spent much of the summer in the warm waters off the coast of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, according to OCEARCH.

Miss Costa was named for OCEARCH partner, Costa Sunglasses. She was tagged in 2016 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. In those two years, she’s been tracked traveling more than 8,000 miles.

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