'Queen of the ocean': 2-ton great white shark captured off the coast of Nova Scotia by marine researchers
Nukumi is the largest great white shark in the United States that has been found to date. Chris Ross / Ocearch
A team of researchers off the coast of Nova Scotia has discovered a great white shark believed to be around 50 years old and the largest of its kind in the Northwest Atlantic.
The female shark measures over 17 feet long and weighs around 3,500 pounds.
The shark was named Nukumbi after "a legendary wise grandmother figure" of the Native American Mi'kmaq, researchers from the non-profit research organization OSEARCH said in a Facebook post.
"When you look at all the healed scars and spots and things that are on your skin, you really see the story of your life and it makes you feel really insignificant," said expedition leader Chris Fischer.
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A great white shark weighing nearly 2 tons, known as the "true matriarch of the ocean", was captured by a team of researchers off the coast of Nova Scotia.
They believe the female shark is the largest of its kind in the Northwest Atlantic. She was more than five meters long and weighed about 1,600 kg.
In a video recently published on Facebook, marine biologists from the non-profit research organization OSEARCH called the basking shark the "Queen of the Ocean".
"She is probably 50 years old and certainly have her first litters of puppies she would have had 30 years ago. [It's] really humbling to stand next to a large animal like this," said OCEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer in the video.
The shark has likely reproduced about 15 times in her life, Fischer said in another video posted on OCEARCH's Facebook page. This means that she could have up to 100 offspring in her lifetime and is likely already a grandmother.
Nukumi is the largest great white shark in the United States to date. Chris Ross / Ocearch
The researchers named the Nukumi shark after "a legendary wise grandmother figure" of the Mi'kmaq Indian tribe, whose ancestral lands include Nova Scotia, according to the Facebook post.
"When you look at all the healed scars and spots and things that are on your skin, you really see the story of your life and it makes you feel really insignificant," Fischer said in the video. "She would be a real, true matriarch of the ocean, a grandmother of the sharks."
The team of scientists was on a month-long expedition near Nova Scotia to tag great white sharks and take cell and blood samples to better understand population migration patterns across the North Atlantic.
After the researchers collected their samples, they released Nukumi back into the ocean.
They have already tagged nine female great white sharks, according to NBC News.
Check out the video of how they captured and sampled Nukumi below:
Sharks are among the oldest living animals in the world. According to Live Science, the great white species live up to 70 years old. Female great white sharks can be pregnant with up to 14 pups.
Once shark pups are born, they immediately leave their mothers to forage for food.
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