3,500-pound great white shark dubbed “Queen of the Ocean” spotted off North America’s coast

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A 3,500 pound great white shark dubbed Nukumi — meaning “Queen of the Ocean” — has been spotted off the coast of Nova Scotia. The massive 50-year-old shark was tagged and released by Ocearch, a research and exploring team that hopes its latest trip out to sea provides new clues to unravel the mysteries of great whites.

“When you see these big females like that that have scars from decades over their lives and multiple mating cycles, you can really kinda see the story of their life unfolding across all the blotches and healed wounds on their body,” team leader Chris Fischer told CBS News’ Jeff Glor. “It really hits you differently thank you would think.”   

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A 50-year-old, 3,500-pound shark nicknamed Nukumi, meaning “Queen of the Ocean.”

CBS News/Ocearch


Tagging Nukumi, one of the largest great white sharks ever seen, was the crowning achievement of Ocearch’s month-long trip off the North American coast that had them running from storms for 21 days in the middle of an unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season. 

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Tagging Nukumi, one of the largest great white sharks ever seen, was the crowning achievement of Ocearch’s month-long trip.

CBS News / Ocearch


At the end, Ocearch was successfully able to sample and release a total of eight great white sharks, including the so-called “Queen of the Ocean.” 

Fischer explained that tracking Nukumi comes with a “great opportunity” to show the researchers “where the Atlantic Canada white shark gives birth” — something that has never been witnessed before. 

Along with gathering more information on their birth, Ocearch’s goal is to learn more about the apex predators that keep the ocean in balance

“If they thrive, the system thrives,” Fischer explained. “The white shark is the balance keeper, and the path to abundance goes through them.”

Without white

Massive, 50-year-old great white shark dubbed ‘Queen of the Ocean’ caught and tagged

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Scientists from OCEARCH, an NGO that is tagging and sampling white sharks, described the female shark as “Queen of the Ocean” and say they have called her Nukumi.

“We named her ‘Nukumi’, pronounced noo-goo-mee, for the legendary wise old grandmother figure of the Native American Mi’kmaq people,” Ocearch wrote in a Facebook post Saturday.

The Mi’kmaq culture has deep roots in Nova Scotia, according to the post.

“With the new data we’ve collected, this matriarch will share her #wisdom with us for years to come,” OCEARCH wrote.

Nukumi is the largest of eight great whites that researchers have sampled during the current expedition, which has been running for 27 days as of Monday.

OCEARCH also posted a video showing Nukumi lying on a special submersible platform built onto the side of its research vessel with researchers around her, and subsequently swimming away.

OCEARCH is an ocean data-collection organization that has tagged and collected samples from hundreds of sharks, dolphins, seals and other animals.

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The group is using the data to learn about migration patterns and uncover previously unknown details about shark lives.

In October 2019, OCEARCH caught and tagged a male shark they named Ironbound off Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

By late December his tracker showed the 12-foot, 4-inch long shark had traveled 1,473 miles down the US East Coast to Key Biscayne, near Miami, OCEARCH said at the time.

Great white sharks are the world’s largest predatory fish, according to the World Wildlife Federation, and are known to rip chunks out of their prey, which are swallowed whole.

Despite their fearsome reputation, the WWF says the sharks are a vulnerable species and their numbers are decreasing.

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Reptile dubbed ‘Jaws of Death’ terrorized Cretaceous seas

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By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Roughly 80 million years ago in the shallow inland sea that once split North America into eastern and western land masses, a fearsome 33-foot-long (10-meter-long) marine reptile with powerful jaws and tremendous bite-force was one of the apex predators.

A type of seagoing lizard called a mosasaur that ruled the oceans at the same time dinosaurs dominated the land, it has now been given a name meaning “Jaws of Death.”

A new analysis published on Wednesday of fossils of the creature unearthed in 1975 has determined that it deserves to be recognized as a new genus of mosasaur based on skeletal traits including a unique combination of features in the tooth-bearing bones and the shape of an important bone in the jaw joint.

Its remains were discovered near Cedaredge, Colorado.

This Cretaceous Period creature previously had been classified as the species Prognathodon stadtmani. Because of its differences from other species of Prognathodon, Joshua Lively, curator of paleontology at the Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum, gave it the new scientific name Gnathomortis stadtmani.

Gnathomortis is derived from the Greek and Latin words for “Jaws of Death.”

After other marine reptiles like ichthyosaurs and pliosaurs went extinct, mosasaurs terrorized the oceans.

“In general, mosasaurs actually filled a lot of roles in the oceans over the last 15 million years of the age of dinosaurs,” Lively said. “Some specialized in eating clams, some were fish specialists, and others were clearly macropredators that could devour anything smaller than them. This mosasaur was one of the latter.”

“If you were an animal in the oceans less than 20 feet (6 meters) in length, you are most likely on the menu for Gnathomortis,” added Lively, whose study was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

That menu, Lively said,