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Could These Sharks Get Their Own Fan Clubs?

To coincide with the Discovery Channel’s annual “Shark Week” series, Nova Southeastern University has launched a Web site that allows visitors to follow specially-tagged sharks as they swim around the world.

What’s the Latest Development?

Thanks to the good folks at the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University (NSU), people who love sharks can follow 18 of them online as they travel Earth’s oceans. Satellite-linked devices tagged onto the sharks allow scientists to record their migration patterns for as long as the battery holds out (between 10 months and two years). The NSU team has been tagging sharks since 2009 to track a variety of species, including tiger and mako, but decided to launch a Web site to coincide with this year’s Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” series, which began on Sunday.

What’s the Big Idea?

NSU is one of several universities and research institutions that seek to preserve and understand shark populations around the world. At least two — Stanford University and the Marine Conservation Science Institute — offer mobile apps that open a window into shark life. Visitors to the NSU site can learn about a mako named Carol, for example, who traveled from New Zealand to Fiji and back — a total of about 10,000 miles — in less than a year. They can also find out about sharks that move at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and dive over 3,000 feet deep.

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