Everywhale Poops

Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are highly migratory ocean wanderers. They are docile, slow-moving planktivores on the "life list" many hundreds of scuba divers like myself. Whale sharks are deep divers.  But perhaps the most truly special thing about whale sharks is their journey.

The animals are uniquely attuned to the rhythms of the ocean in a way that few others are, arriving on a reef at precisely the same time as the local snapper or the red crabs aggregate to spawn. So, how does a whale shark know when to be where?

And what’s more, as a biologist, how do you prove the whale is preying upon the spawn? Biologist Mark Meekan brings a pooper scooper and tags along. He was doing this when, for the first time ever caught on camera… the whale flung poo.

Peter Etnoyer (406 Posts)

PhD candidate at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi and doctoral fellow Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.

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