Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) aggregate seasonally (March-June) to feed in coastal waters off Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. According to research published in the journal Marine Biology, the sharks then travel northeast into the Indian Ocean. They use both inshore and offshore habitats and frequently travel vertically up and down, occasionally to a depth of at least 980 m. Vertical migration over a 24-hour period, and twilight descents, were evident in the depth records. The sharks’ experienced ambient temperatures ranging between 4.2 and 28.7°C and encountered gradients of up to 20.8°C on dives.

Journal Reference: Marine Biology, Volume 148, Issue 5, Mar 2006

For more on the sharks at Ningaloo Reef see http://scubatravel.co.uk/australia/ningalooshark.html

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