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New app: Learn about great white sharks while supporting research

Earlier today, the Marine Conservation Science Institute launched a new iPhone and iPad app focusing on great white sharks. The app, called Expedition White Shark , includes numerous features that let users learn more about these amazing animals.

A game (called “Shark Life”) lets you learn about the life history of great white sharks by controlling a virtual baby great white. Users explore the marine environment near Southern California white eating fish and avoiding threats like gillnets and pollution.

A “news” interface lets you keep up to date on some of the latest exciting discoveries the Marine CSI team makes, and you can learn more about great whites from the “facts” tab. The app also includes numerous photos and videos of great whites and the research team in action.The coolest feature this app contains, however, is the ability to track satellite-tagged great whites.

The app’s website explains how this feature works:

” Scientists at the Marine Conservation Science Institute (MCSI) fitted Great White Sharks with custom built satellite transmitters. Short video clips presented within the app demonstrate the methods we devised for the safe capture, tagging and release of these large charismatic creatures, as well as presenting new insight into the life history and conservation of the species. The app will allow you to receive live tracking data for the tagged Great White sharks, at the same time as the research scientists…Each signal received by the satellites and beamed to us from space adds to our growing knowledge of the life history of this species. The MCSI satellite tagging of Great White Sharks has led to many important new findings regarding white shark biology, and each day brings promise of a new discovery that you can make with us.”

This feature, along with the videos, works best when the device is connected to WiFi.

Track satellite-tagged great white sharks

Early reviews by others indicate that it is much easier to read all the text on the iPad version (not surprising given the larger screen), but I had no difficulties reading everything on my iPhone.  The Expedition White Shark app is a great public education and outreach tool, and I encourage ocean lovers to check it out.   The $3.99 cost supports ongoing great white shark research at the Marine Conservation Science Institute.

To learn about more ocean-themed iPhone apps, see Bluegrass Blue Crab’s post.