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What's more impressive than a 40 foot long, 40 ton fish?

By Leonard Ho - Posted Jun 14, 2011 06:00 AM
How about 400+ of them?! According to a recent study, aerial and surface surveys of a 2009 phenomenon counted over 420 whale sharks dining together on freshly spawned tunny and mackerel eggs in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. This is the largest gathering of whale sharks ever recorded.
What's more impressive than a 40 foot long, 40 ton fish?

Aerial view of whale shark aggregation. Photograph courtesy Smithsonian Institution

We're talking about potentially 35,000,000 pounds (16,000,000 kg) of whale shark in one location; Line them up head to tail for over 3 miles (5 kilometers) of fish!  Just imagine how many eggs was in these waters to attract and satisfy this many giant filter feeders.

Makes our glass boxes seem awfully small, doesn't it?

Visit National Geographic for more photos and descriptions of this awe-inspiring event.

A Whale Shark feeding on plankton near Isla Mujeres, Mexico.  It's difficult to appreciate just how enormous these fish really are.  Photo by Mauricio Handler, National Geographic


 

This mesmerizing video of whale sharks in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (Japan) has been around for a couple years now, and I'm sure sure many of you have already seen it.  But just in case you haven't ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7deClndzQw

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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