Whale Shark Photos
A 10-meter whale shark surface filter feeds in the northern
Gulf of Mexico during the summer of 2006. Photo by GCRL.
A nine-meter whale shark swims at the surface as Capt. Sonny Schlinder
and Dr. William Driggers look on. Photo by GCRL.
This image compares the relative size of a whale shark to a human. Image from www.fishbase.org.
Worldwide distribution of the whale shark, Rhincodon typus. Map from http://en.wikipedia.org.
A nine-meter whale shark at Gladden Spit, Belize, is fitted with
a pop-up satellite archival tag from Wildlife Computers. Photo by Rachel Graham.
An eight- meter whale shark at Gladden Spit, Belize, is fitted
with a satellite position tag from Wildlife Computers. Photo by Rachel Graham.
This drawing by artist Emily Hildebrandt shows a newborn whale shark,
approximately 55 centimeters total length.
A whale shark surface filter feeds with mouth agape and upper jaw
well above the surface. Photo by GCRL.
A pair of whale sharks filter feed at the surface. This paired swimming may
be an adaptive feeding behavior that concentrates the prey and
provides enhanced feeding opportunities. Photo by GCRL.
A close-up of a whale shark that is filter feeding at the surface.
Note the open mouth and the upper jaw extended out of the water. Photo by GCRL.
A large school of cobia, Rachycentron canadum accompany an 8.5-meter whale shark.
The photo was taken from a petroleum platform in the northern
Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana. Photo by Fred Anderson.
This large whale shark was harvested from waters off China.
For more details on the harvest.
A large whale shark surface filter feeds in the northern Gulf of Mexico,
one of 16 whale sharks encountered during a research cruise. Photo by GCRL.
Pictured are five of 16 whale sharks observed that were observed on a
research cruise and were surface ram filter feeding on recently
spawned fish eggs. Photo by GCRL.
Two pair of whale sharks swimming in tandem are surface ram filter feeding
on fish eggs in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The paired swimming may have
concentrated the fish eggs between the sharks to enhance feeding
rather than indicated any reproductive courtship. Photo by GCRL.
Settled volumes of plankton provide a comparison of samples collected
from two locations in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The sample on the left
was taken where 16 whale sharks were observed feeding. The sample on
the right was a control site two miles away. Note the higher density of fish
eggs in the sample from the feeding site. The research cruise provided the
first documented observation of whale sharks feeding on fish eggs
in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Photo by GCRL.
Of the two fish egg types collected in plankton samples, the opaque
white eggs without spots were identified as little tunny (Euthynnus alletteratus),
and represented 98% of the eggs in each sample. Photo by GCRL.