We present diving data for four whale sharks in relation to a predictable food pulse (reef ﬁsh spawn) and an analysis of the longest continuous ﬁne-resolution diving record for a planktivorous shark. Fine-resolution pressure data from a recovered pop-up archival satellite tag deployed for 206 days on a whale shark were analysed using the fast Fourier Transform method for frequency domain analysis of time-series. The results demonstrated that a free-ranging whale shark displays ultradian, diel and circa-lunar rhythmicity of diving behaviour. Whale sharks dive to over 979.5 m and can tolerate a temperature range of 26.4 8C. The whale sharks made primarily diurnal deep dives and remained in relatively shallow waters at night. Whale shark diving patterns are inﬂuenced by a seasonally predictable food source, with shallower dives made during ﬁsh spawning periods.
Rachel T. Graham, Callum M. Roberts and James C. R. Smart