Whale Sharks Use Geometry to Avoid Sinking

Whale shark gliding off Sail Rock in the Gulf of Thailand. They are the largest fish species in the ocean, but the majestic gliding motion of the whale shark is, scientists argue, an astonishing feat of mathematics and energy conservation. (Credit: iStockphoto/Dirk-Jan Mattaar)

They are the largest fish species in the ocean, but the majestic gliding motion of the whale shark is, scientists argue, an astonishing feat of mathematics and energy conservation. In new research published November 25 in the British Ecological Society’s journal Functional Ecology marine scientists reveal how these massive sharks use geometry to enhance their natural negative buoyancy and stay afloat.

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