Drone Captures Whale Shark Feeding Frenzy and Lucky Snorkelers Get a Front Row Seat

by Carolyn Sotka

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A drone off the coast of Isla Mujeres and near Cancun, Mexico, captured footage of a large group of whale sharks and manta rays feeding on plankton. Whale sharks are usually solitary but gather during periods of high plankton abundance and are indicators of ocean health. A handful of snorkelers were able to witness first hand this very cool feeding behavior.

Watch the video:

(Video by Tom Gruber)

The whale shark is the biggest fish and shark in the world.  The whale shark has a five foot mouth that can engulf large quantities of tiny plankton it filters through its gills as it swims. A gentle giant, the whale shark is a non-predatory fish and highly valued on the international market, thus making it vulnerable to numerous threats.

Threats include demand for meat, fins and oil; as unintentional bycatch in fishing gear; and potentially tourism if it disrupts feeding behavior or increases risk of injury by boat propellers.

To learn more about whale sharks and their protection visit World Wildlife Fund site.

To see more footage check out the story on TheDodo.Com. — CS

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