A Grandmother of Sharks

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Working in the waters off Nova Scotia, Canada, scientists from OCEARCH tagged a huge great white shark that weighed in at 3,541 pounds and measured 17 feet 2 inches in length.

The researchers described the female shark as "Queen of the Ocean" and have named her Nukumi, for the legendary wise old grandmother figure of the Native American Mi'kmaq people of Nova Scotia.

Nukumi is the largest of eight great whites that they have tagged and sampled during the current expedition, which has been running for 29 days as of Wednesday.

A video shot by OCEARCH shows Nukumi being brought to a special submersible platform built onto the side of its research vessel with team of scientists taking blood and DNA samples and doing ultrasounds, before letting her swim away.

OCEARCH has tagged and collected samples from hundreds of sharks, dolphins, seals and other animals. The group is using the data to learn about migration patterns and uncover previously unknown details about sharks.

Great white sharks are the world's largest predatory fish, but despite their fearsome reputation, the World Wildlife Foundation says they are a vulnerable species and their numbers are decreasing.



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