Now and then I get solicited by strangers to blog about something that they want me to blog about. Usually it seems like a ruse for them to get free publicity, but occasionally they have something that I am actually excited to share. E.g., this photo from National Geographic, taken by photographer Michael Aw:
These are whale sharks looking for handouts from fishermen in Indonesia. It's funny to me to see these big, slow, cold-blooded animals, which I have always considered to be lazy, plankton-straining feeders, actively snapping at food from the surface like giant versions the goldfish in a pond. Cute.
Nat Geo's caption for the picture is: Vying for position under a bagan, male whale sharks—two of about twenty that visit this spot—scramble for a snack. Typically an adult shark might cruise night and day at a sedate one to three miles an hour, sucking in enough seawater to feed itself. This group likely spends a lot of time in Papua's Cenderawasih Bay, making it one of a few places where the species gathers year-round. Scientists hope to cooperate with locals to launch studies of the giants.
If you want to see the rest in this photo series, you can go to http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/10/whale-sharks/aw-photography