A great white shark toy is a surprisingly popular plush marine animal especially among young children. With its gaping mouth displaying its ‘sharp’ plush teeth, the great white shark toy has children both cringing in fear and clapping their hands in delight at this equally wonderful and scary stuffed animal.

Very little is known about great white sharks, any information that can be captured about this animal is always a very big deal in the scientific world. In November 2003, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society, electronically tagged a 12.5 foot female great white shark off the western cape of South Africa. With the use of satellite data transmitted from the tag, researchers uncovered information which was nothing short of extraordinary.

The tag that had been attached to Nicole, the great white shark, popped off automatically in late February 2004 and with it, came the stunning details of the sharks 99 day swim. In 9 months, it turns out she swam a whopping 12,400 miles from Africa to Australia and back. It is the first time, a round-trip ocean crossing by a shark has ever been documented, not to mention the fact that Nicole also swam farther than any other known shark has done before. Once the popped off tag floated to the ocean, the information on it was generated automatically to the scientists email addresses. According to Robert Hueter, Director of the Center for Shark Research in Sarasota, Florida, the data on the tag showed that fish are more than just ocean nomads that roam about aimlessly.

The long term tracking project of great white sharks initially began in August 2002, in which researchers hoped to be able to answer the following: where do great whites hang out? When do they migrate and which ones go? One of the finds from the project determined that populations of great white sharks that are half a world away, have physical connections with other great whites. Also, these connections seem to be made mostly by female great whites, although males are not ruled out as also making similar connections.

Using photo identification, researchers have been able to determine that since 1999 Nicole has only shown up in South African waters between the months of June and December which means that her migration might be something she does on a regular basis. But, the overall research project data, also showed other great white sharks -males, females, juveniles, and adults making similar migratory journeys as long as 1,200 miles, up and down the South African coast.

With a great white shark toy, there is an opportunity for a child to learn more about their latest stuffed animal. If nothing else, a great white shark toy will keep them searching for information and wondering about the real thing for a long time to come.

Angeline Hope is a collector of plush giant toy animals. You can view a selection of plush giant toys, including
shark stuffed animals at MyBigPlush.

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