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Great white shark tracked on epic swim

UPI News Service, 10/06/2005 

A great white shark has set an open-ocean swimming record by traveling from South Africa to Australia and back.

The shark, named Nicole in honor of actress and shark advocate Nicole Kidman, was tracked by an electronic device, a temporary tag that surfaces after six months to transmit its data to a satellite, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Nicole, a 12-foot female, was tagged in November 2003, and the device gave up its data in February 2004. It revealed that the shark had traveled about 7,000 miles from South African coastal waters to the coast of Western Australia, in 99 days.

The shark, identified by distinctive notches in her fins, was photographed later in the year off South Africa.

Ramon Bonfil, a scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York and South African scientists, say the trip was the fastest known by a fish. In a report in Science, they say that their findings also show that sharks are as at home in the open ocean as they are in coastal waters and suggest that the South African and Australian populations may intermingle.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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