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Whale Shark Feeding Frenzies Mystify, Enlighten Scientists

If this year is like the last few, one of the most mysterious creatures in the world will soon descend upon the waters off of the Yucatan Peninsula. The blue, plankton-rich waters will become an all-you-can-eat haven for hundreds of giant whale sharks, an annual event known as "afuera." Full story

Female whale sharks save sperm, study suggests

The giant whale shark is an elusive quarry for study, especially when it comes to spotting the spotted sharks' mating and breeding. But a new analysis of rare whale shark embryos suggests that females may save up sperm after mating, queuing up multiple litters of the filter-feeding fish. Full story

Whale sharks a 'sentinel species' in Gulf ecosystem

   Whale sharks are filter feeders. They scoop up plankton and small fish with their gaping mouths as they swim just beneath the surface of the Gulf. Scientists, including Dr. Eric Hoffmayer from the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, are concerned the whale sharks will swallow large amounts of toxic oil

Oil spill impact on whale sharks studied   

   Raw video: Tagging whale sharks -- Diving out to Ewing Bank, off the coast of Louisiana,  Jeff Corwin,  MSNBC's Wildlife Expert and Eric Hoffmayer of the University of Southern Mississippi, collected tissue samples from whale sharks to see if the Gulf oil spill has had an impact on the giant species

Tracking whale sharks in the oil leak zone

   With millions of gallons of oil remaining in Gulf waters, scientists believe whale sharks could be the key to understanding if the entire ecosystem is in jeopardy. NBC's Jeff Corwin reports.

‘Star’ marked whale sharks migrate to Indonesia

   Tourists in Indonesia watch a group of 20 whale sharks migrate to Bentar Beach to feed in warmer waters. Msnbc.com's Dara Brown has the story.

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Video

  "Star" marked whale sharks migrate in Indonesia

Tourists in Indonesia watch a group of 20 whale sharks who migrate to Bentar Beach to feed in warmer waters. Msnbc.com's Dara Brown has the story.

  Up close with the world’s largest fish

Oct. 20: NBC’s Kerry Sanders heads to Mexico for the thrill of a lifetime – swimming with whale sharks.

  Rare whale shark spotted

Nov. 18: Divers in Florida film a 20-foot whale shark. WBBH's Kate Eckman reports.

  Whale (shark) of a good time

Sept. 19: MSNBC producer Tina Cone remembers almost being “swallowed by a whale shark” while diving off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

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Related Photos

Whale shark
Whale shark

The filter-feeding whale shark can grow as long as a school bus.

In this June 21, 2010 photograph provided by the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, a giant whale shark is photographed as it swims past a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, about 60 miles southwest of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site. The whale shark populati

Brad Norman attaches a "daily diary" device to a whale shark. Rory Wilson swims behind him. Credit: image courtesy of Rolex Awards/Juergen Freund
Brad Norman attaches a "daily diary" device to a whale shark. Rory Wilson swims behind him. Credit: image courtesy of Rolex Awards/Juergen Freund

Brad Norman attaches a "daily diary" device to a whale shark. Rory Wilson swims behind him. Credit: image courtesy of Rolex Awards/Juergen Freund

Whale sharks are considered filter feeders, as they filter tiny fish from the water using the fine mesh of their gill-rakers. Credit: Copyright Brad Norman
Whale sharks are considered filter feeders, as they filter tiny fish from the water using the fine mesh of their gill-rakers. Credit: Copyright Brad Norman

Whale sharks are considered filter feeders, as they filter tiny fish from the water using the fine mesh of their gill-rakers. Credit: Copyright Brad Norman