Jaws Across the Water

Scientists find that great white sharks are surprisingly wide ocean travelers

04-01-2002 // Mark Cheater

GREAT WHITES love the deep blue. That's the finding from a new study of white sharks by biologists in California. The two-ton predators (immortalized in the film Jaws) previously were thought to stick close to shore, where they feed on seals and sea lions. But scientists who attached radio-transmitting tags to six sharks on the West Coast discovered that the creatures migrate thousands of miles. One tagged male swam all the way to Hawaii, and stayed there for nearly four months.

"I was shocked by the results," says Burney Le Boeuf of the University of California at Santa Cruz. "Going into this, what we expected was that white sharks were just coastal animals. But it turns out they've got a life at sea."

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