NASA helps whales sharks research


Excerpt from All About Sharks: A Complete Guide to the World’s Most Misunderstood Predator (Nov. 2017):

NASA has become a friend of whale sharks.

The pattern of spots on the back of every whale shark is different, much like human fingerprints.

Researchers have collected more than 50,000 photos of individual whale sharks, but needed help to maintain the growing database.

Using software designed for the Hubble Space Telescope to record stars and find patterns in their activity, NASA helped create algorithms to maintain and organize the database.

That has helped the work of Dr. Brad Norman and the rest of his team at ECOCEAN to find new answers to questions about whale sharks that, believe it or not, many researchers do not know:

  • How long do whale sharks live?
  • Where do they breed?
  • How does ecotourism impact whale sharks?

Learn more about the amazing work that ECOCEAN is doing to help the world know more about the world’s largest fish: the whale shark.


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