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Whale Shark

Rhincodon typus

Description:

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!

Habitat:

Tropical waters

Notes:

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.

No species ID suggestions

26 Comments (1–25)

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 2 weeks ago

Thanks, @subhojit and @WilliamsFamily for your kind words and appreciation :)

WilliamsFamily
WilliamsFamily 3 weeks ago

Wow, just amazing. What a shot!

Nice one. Congrats for another SOTD.

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 3 weeks ago

Thanks, @Daniel for another SOTD :)

Thanks too, @Tukup, @armadeus.4, @Michael and @BrittJ for your kind words and appreciation :)

BrittJ
BrittJ 3 weeks ago

Well deserved! Stunning photos!

Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 3 weeks ago

A very well deserved SOTD. Your under water work is always awsome!!!!

armadeus.4
armadeus.4 3 weeks ago

Congratulations Albert! Fabulous SOTD. Thank you for sharing :)

Tukup
Tukup 3 weeks ago

Congratulations Albert on the SOTD. Thanks for sharing your pictures and story. Just thinking of the range from a tiny minnow to a whale shark. Both fish.

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 3 weeks ago

Congratulations Albert and thank you for bringing us such an amazing feel-good story!

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 3 weeks ago

You've outdone yourself here Albert! These images and story are simply amazing. Congratulations on a Spotting of the Day!

"Spotting of the Day! How's that for a black hole? This extraordinary image is the very large open mouth of a Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus), feeding at night. The largest non-cetacean member of the animal kingdom, the whale shark is one of only three known filter-feeding shark species (the others being the basking shark and the megamouth shark). Make sure to check the spotting and read the story of our member Albert Kang's encounter with two whale sharks, complete with more images".

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AlbertKang
AlbertKang 3 weeks ago

Thanks, @Michael & @Marid dB, for your kind words and appreciation :)

Maria dB
Maria dB 3 weeks ago

How wonderful that it occurred to you to remove the paint from them and that they allowed you to do it!

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 3 weeks ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated Albert!

Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 3 weeks ago

Wow. Totally speechles!! amazing shots!!

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 3 weeks ago

Thanks, @Neil and yes, it was quite an incredible experience :)

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 3 weeks ago

Spectacular images, Albert. What an incredible experience this must have been.

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 3 weeks ago

Thanks, @Mark and @triggsturner for your kind words and appreciation :)

triggsturner
triggsturner 3 weeks ago

Amazing angle on that first image Albert. Love it.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 weeks ago

Thanks Albert. What a great experience.

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 4 weeks ago

Thanks, @Lauren.
Yes, I did get pics of the whole sharks, but rather difficult at night.
Also near the surface where the sharks are hanging out, its very bright whereas a bit deeper where the tails are, its totally dark.

LaurenZarate
LaurenZarate 4 weeks ago

Very cool! I'm so glad you removed the paint! Did you get a picture of the whole fish?

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 4 weeks ago

Thanks, Daniele :)

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 4 weeks ago

Extraordinary images Albert!

AlbertKang
AlbertKang 4 weeks ago

Thanks, @Leuba and @Sergio.
I was having the time of my life, it was quite an experience :)

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 4 weeks ago

I agree with Leuba, you're a very lucky man. Photo #2 is a killer.

Meemu, Maldives

Lat: 3.07, Long: 73.58

Spotted on Apr 1, 2019
Submitted on Apr 23, 2019

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