It just takes a few seconds of the Jaws theme song to ruin a beach day, and Florida knows this well. Sharing its coastal borders with sharks of all kind, it’s important for Floridians to stay educated and up to date on the waters and the animals within them. And as great white breeding season approaches, scientists at Ocearch are currently tracking a massive 2,000-pound female off the coast of Florida.
This lady deserves more than the stereotypical Jaws theme intro, however. Her name is Unama’ki, and she easily outweighs all of the male white sharks that Ocearch has tagged in the area. Her name means “land of the fog,” in the language of the indigenous Mi’kmaq people of Nova Scotia.
Besides wowing scientists with her impressive girth and length, researchers also hope that Unama’ki will be the key to learning more about the species as a whole and that she will even lead them to a new white shark nursery this breeding season.
Unama’ki has proven to be quite the traveler, even venturing as far as the Mississippi River near the Louisiana coast this February, just in time for Mardi Gras.
This was the first time scientists at Ocearch had located great whites in that area. #feminism.
Very little is actually known about great white shark mating and reproduction, and that’s why Unama’ki is so important.
Studies have shown that their gestation periods last for about 18 months, and with the warmer months drawing more and more sharks into the same area, it’s only a matter of time before mating season kicks off.
It’s probably not a bad idea to check on it before planning a beach day, either.