The Surprise Finding With Whale Sharks

Scientists made the discovery while studying whale sharks off Western Australia’s Ningaloo reef. Photograph: Simon J Pierce/PA

We have linked to stories involving whale sharks plenty of times, always knowing their size is impressive. Now this:

Whale sharks are world’s biggest omnivores, study finds

‘Everything we thought we knew may not actually be true,’ says fish biologist in response to finding

Researchers have made a surprising discovery about the dining habits of whale sharks, handing the largest fish in the sea another world title.

It turns out the ocean giants routinely enjoy a seaweed salad alongside hefty helpings of krill, meaning they have officially dethroned the Kodiak bear as the world’s biggest omnivore.

Scientists made the discovery while studying whale sharks off Western Australia’s Ningaloo reef and say it is cause for a re-think about what is really sustaining the super-sized species.

“Everything we thought we knew may not actually be true,” Dr Mark Meekan, fish biologist from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, said.

“We’ve seen them coming to Ningaloo and we’ve seen them feeding on krill and we’ve thought, ‘Boom there’s the answer’.

“But with sophisticated methods that look at the microchemistry of these animals, this story becomes much, much more complex.”…

Read the whole article here.

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