Great white sharks are the ocean’s top predators, and now, off Long Island, scientists have found one of the places where they are being born. According to ABC 7, the site might be the very first birthing site found in the North Atlantic.
The site was discovered by Ocearch, an organization of scientists and fishermen that works to track and protect marine animals like the great white. For years the organization has been tracking the movement of Great Whites by placing a tracker in their dorsal fin that pings a satellite each time the fin breaches the surface. Realizing that wherever they are giving birth is likely where the sharks are most in danger, they set out to find the site using the past few years worth of tracking data that they had amassed—like the sharks themselves, their birthing sites can be elusive.
After finding the spot off the coast of Montauk, New York, Ocearch thought they would catch maybe a single juvenile to tag, but instead they were able to capture nine of the young beasts. Not a lot of research has been done on sharks this early stage in their development, meaning we might, soon, learn quite a lot.