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Two huge great whites gather off Florida coast ahead of

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Two huge great white sharks have gathered off the coast of Florida ahead of spring break.

Maple, a white shark measuring 11 feet and weighing 1,264 pounds, pinged off the coast of Florida just southeast of St. George Island, in the Gulf of Mexico, on March 6, according to ocean research organization OCEARCH’s shark tracker.

Rose, a white shark measuring 10 foot 5 inches and weighing 600 pounds, then pinged off the coast of Pine Island Sound on March 9.

Spring break is just around the corner, meaning young tourists will begin flocking to Florida waters. Shark attacks on humans remain rare, but they can occasionally happen when sharks and humans are in the water at the same time.

Great white shark swimming A stock photo shows a great white shark. Two large great whites are lurking off the coast of Florida. Whitepointer/Getty

Sharks do not seek out humans as prey but they will sometimes approach out of curiosity, or even attack if they feel provoked.

Great white sharks can be found all over the world, although they tend to spend more time near to the coastlines of temperate regions. They can grow to lengths of up to 20 feet, although this is rare.

Florida is the shark bite capital of the world, according to the Shark Attack File. This has been the case for decades. Florida waters are home to a variety of shark species that can be found at all times of the year.

OCEARCH tracks great white sharks to learn more about the elusive species and their behavior.

Maple and Rose belong to a great white shark population that lives along the east coast of the U.S. and Canada. The population makes an annual migration, spending summers in northern waters and winters in the south.

“Most, but not all, species of highly mobile sharks in the Northern hemisphere move southward in the winter as they are following their food,” Gavin Naylor, director at the Florida Program for Shark Research, previously told Newsweek.

“Indeed, food availability drives a lot of animal movement. Sometimes sharks move inshore to drop pups if they are live-bearing or if they lay eggs, to provide a more secure environment for their young.”

Tancook, another great white shark who is 9 feet long, has also recently pinged in Florida, off the coast of Jacksonville. The shark was also tracked in the state in December 2022, meaning he may have been lingering here for a few months.

Not all sharks follow this migration pattern exactly, as there is a lot of individual variation in shark movements. The species are solitary and do not travel in groups, meaning they occasionally stray from the expected migration route.

Do you have an animal or nature story to share with Newsweek? Do you have a question about great white sharks? Let us know via [email protected]


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