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They're gonna need a bigger Twitter. An organization studying great white sharks is enjoying some welcome attention after one of the creatures they've been monitoring started gaining a loyal social media following.
@MaryLeeShark is the fake Twitter handle for a very real, nearly 3,500-pound great white whose movements can be tracked online and in real time. She's drawn over 44,000 followers with her playful updates and witty replies as the real life shark cruises up and down the East Coast.
"Oh heyyyyy.... you're right by my house, come by for a nightcap?" invited one recent Twitter commenter as she popped up off the coast of Long Island, New York. "I would settle for an ice bag to put on my aching Twitter fin. -:()" Mary Lee replied. "What do you do during Shark Week?" another recent commenter asked. "Swim. Eat. Tweet. Etc. Exhausting. -;()," Mary Lee responded.
Gregory Skomal, a marine biologist who heads the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, says the research is of particular interest along the densely populated East Coast, where great whites are being spotted with greater frequency. The sharks are increasingly drawn to places like Cape Cod and its surrounding islands, whose seaside communities are forever linked with "Jaws," because seal populations have soared.