A 10-foot great white shark is lurking off the Outer Banks

A 10-foot great white shark is lurking off the Outer Banks
Amy, a nearly 10-foot-great white shark, is being tracked off the North Carolina coast. Amy, a nearly 10-foot-great white shark, is being tracked off the North Carolina coast. (Atlantic White Shark Conservancy/Facebook)

NORTH CAROLINA (Mark Price/Charlotte Observer) - A monster great white shark in the 10-foot range has been spotted off North Carolina's Emerald Isle and appears to be moving north up the coast.

The discovery was made by satellite tracker at 2:47 a.m. Thursday.

Known as Amy, the shark is one of several being tracked by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, a research and education effort that is working to unravel mysteries surrounding the behavior and biology of white sharks along the East Coast.

The conservancy says white sharks are often "misrepresented and misunderstood."

Great whites are the largest predatory fish on earth, growing to an average of 15 feet, though specimens longer than 20 feet and weighing 5,000 pounds have been recorded, according to National Geographic.

Their mouths are lined with up to 300 serrated, triangular teeth arranged in several rows, and they account for one-third to a half of the world's 100-plus annual shark attacks, says National Geographic.

The shark was tagged in December with Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries' Greg Skomal and Chip Michalove of Outcast Sport Fishing in Hilton Head. The shark is being tracked by pings, which occur when a tagged shark's dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water and transmits a signal to a satellite overhead.

Amy pinged off the coast of Myrtle Beach in early February, leading to a belief it is staying in the region.

Michalove told the Port City Daily he believes the shark is 10 feet long and about about 10 years old.