For 10 years, marine biologists from the University of Western Australia have been studying whale sharks living on the Ningaloo coral reef in the Indian Ocean.
Recently, scientists have noticed that these large fish are less active in the presence of people, which makes it easier for scientists to conduct research. As ichthyologists try to collect samples of copepods that parasitize the skin of sharks, they feed these fish dead squid.
Whale sharks live in small schools of up to 500 individuals and can be seen along with other shark species at Ningaloo Reef for several months out of every year.
It has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its unique environment, which allows scientists to conduct research here.
Biologists have tried to obtain tissue or blood samples from whale sharks, but these large predators are difficult to study due to their migratory nature. The researchers found that the same information can be obtained by analyzing not the skin itself, but copepods – these tiny parasites are easier to collect and study. EcoPravda .
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