During a recent trip to Maldives, we had 2 Whale Sharks showed up behind our Boat at night and I was able to spend more than 6 hours in the water with them. The Boat put up bright lights at night to attracts planktons and this in turn attracts other predators, big and small to feed on them. Being the biggest fish in the world, it is incredible that the diet of the Whale Sharks are tiny planktons. They are filter feeders, gulping in huge volume of water rich in planktons and this water are course through their gills which takes in the planktons and other small/tiny stuff as their food. On this particular occasion, one of the whale shark spend the whole night feeding behind our Boat, it shows up around 7 pm and was still there feeding when I got up the next morning at 5 am!
Pic#1 - Huge mouth of a Whale Shark - Rhincodon typus, all opened up during feeding. Pic#2 - Feeding near the calm surface, with reflection. Pic#3 - 2 Whale Sharks busy feeding near the surface. In Pic#2, the brownish/reddish colour around the mouth are paint residues from boats. Unfortunately, this Whale Sharks have associate boats to possible food, and they come too close to boats for feeding, at time brushing their head to the Boat, thus getting the paint on them. With the permission of the Boat/Dive Operator, I was able to scrub off the paint while snorkelling with them. They were not bothered with my efforts and did not even swim away from me each time I scrub around the mouth.
Lat: 3.07, Long: 73.58
Spotted on Apr 1, 2019
Submitted on Apr 23, 2019
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