September 11, 2006Each year a surprising number of whale
sharksthe world's largest fishare drawn to a coral
formation called the Gladden Spit, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) off
the coast of Belize (map).
The massive sharks
glide into the region at about the same time that smaller fish species
congregate by the thousands to reproduce. But adult fish have no
reason to fearwhale sharks are filter feeders, meaning that they
usually feed on tiny ocean plants called plankton.
Watch as a
pair of divers take in the action near a column of spawning dog
snappers, and witness the biologists' amazing discovery as a whale
shark emerges from the milky waters to feed on what could be called
the freshest fish in the sea.