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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Could underwater gadgets tell us why baby sharks hang out at LA beaches?

Could underwater gadgets tell us why baby sharks hang out at LA beaches?

It was about 2AM on a Friday morning, and Connor White couldn’t find the baby great white shark he was supposed to be tracking off the Southern California coast. He wasn’t worried about the shark, really — these Pacific waters are its home. But he was starting to panic about losing the $9,000 accessory called a SmartTag that the shark was wearing around its dorsal fin, like a giant, bright orange Fitbit.

Equipped with a handful of sensors and a camera, the SmartTag is part of a growing suite of gadgets that gives scientists a window into a day in the life of a shark. That is, as long as the scientists can find it once it releases from the shark’s fin. Lose the shark, and you lose the pricey tag — along with all its data. To keep costs down, White hadn’t outfitted the tag with a satellite transmitter.

So all he had to go by was the high-frequency radio signal the tag was supposed to emit when it floated to the surface, and outside of a 15-mile radius, he wouldn’t be able to hear it. “You know the shark can’t be that far away,” White says. “But each minute that you can’t find it, the area that the shark could be in gets bigger, and bigger.”

Full story at

Source: The Verge

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