A few whale sharks have been caught in the wild for the first time in history.
The whale sharks were photographed playfully on Ningaloo Reef, off the northwest coast of Western Australia on Monday afternoon.
The intimate interaction lasted a minute and a half before the couple broke up and went their own way on the World Heritage-listed reef.
Whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, gather in only a handful of places around the world and have never been seen in pairs or pupa outside an aquarium.
Ningaloo Aviation pilot and photographer Tiffany Klein knew that she witnessed something special when she saw that a & # 39; whimsical & # 39; nineteen-meter-long whale shark & # 39; frisky & # 39; became with a much smaller female.
A few whale sharks have been caught sharing an intimate moment in what is believed to be a world first (pictured, whale sharks are preparing for Ningaloo Reef, off the northwest coast of Western Australia)
The pair of marine enthusiasts were photographed on Monday morning in a tender embrace on Ningaloo Reef, off the northwest coast of Western Australia.
The intimate session lasted a minute and a half before the couple broke up and went their own way on the World Heritage classified reef
& # 39; They both went below the surface and eventually the male whale shark came back, & # 39; Mrs. Klein told Daily Mail Australia.
& # 39; He was a lot slower and had less energy. & # 39;
The photos have made the scientific world talk, because it is the first time that whale sharks have been observed to mate.
Mrs. Klein said that she was sitting on her routine antenna on the West Australian coast at that time.
She had been instructed to locate the sharks for the Three Islands Whale Shark Dives tourist company so that divers could swim with the friendly giants of the sea.
Mrs. Klein said that once the tourists had left the sharks, she continued to follow the sea creatures and that is when the magic happened.
& # 39; When I first saw them, they were 400 meters apart, & # 39; Mrs. Klein told Daily Mail Australia.
& # 39; The larger shark, which is the male shark and about nine meters long, chased the smaller female shark.
& # 39; When it came to the female shark, it just turned sideways and passed under her. & # 39;
Mrs. Klein noted that whale sharks had a tendency to turn on their backs only if they were protecting themselves from a predator.
& # 39; They set their backs against predators, because that is the strongest part of their skin. Normally you don't see them going upside down. & # 39;
Mrs. Klein said that during her nine years as a pilot in the picturesque region she regularly saw whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef, but had never seen two sizes.
The photos & # 39; s have made the scientific world talk, because it is the first time that whale sharks have been caught red-handed
Although Mrs. Klein said the tourists left the friendly sharks, she continued to follow the sea creatures and that is when the magic happened
Mrs. Klein noted that whale sharks had a tendency to turn on their backs only if they were protecting themselves from a predator
WHAT ARE WHALE SCHEDULE & # 39; S?
Whale sharks are the largest species of fish in the world.
An adult male shark can grow more than ten meters, with the longest animal of 18.8 meters.
Despite their name, whale sharks are not whales – they are slow-moving, filter-eating carpet sharks.
The sharks prefer warmer water and migrate to the west coast of Australia every spring.
According to CSIRO researcher Richard Pillan, whale sharks gather at Ningaloo Reef between March and October before migrating to other parts of the world
The sharks feed on smaller fish – where their favorite meal is plankton – and come to the surface while eating.
They run the greatest risk of being run over and being killed by passing fishing boats and commercial boats when they surface to feed.
Their number has fallen considerably over the last 15 years compared to illegal fishing, which is still praised in parts of the world, such as Asia.
Very little is known about their mating behavior. The only litter size ever documented had more than 300 puppies
Source: National Geographic and CSIRO researcher Richard Pillan
Her photos of rare sight caused the male whale to slowly approach the female before rolling onto his back.
As he swam under the female, he grabbed her on her stomach and started beating the couple in the water.
& # 39; I wasn't sure at first, but then the male shark went down and tried to attach to the female, & # 39; Klein explained.
& # 39; There was also a scientist in a boat nearby and I asked him on the radio if this really happened and he said "Yes". & # 39;
CSIRO researcher Richard Pillan was waiting in the nearby boat when he said he saw the water moving.
& # 39; The male shark approached the female that was swimming and forced the female to rise out of the water, so a lot was beaten.
& # 39; Whale sharks are normally calm and see this type of behavior uncommon. & # 39;
Dr. Pillan pointed out that the female shark was still in her childhood and was not mature enough to mate.
& # 39; The whale shark population in Ningaloo is mainly juvenile and researchers don't know much about their mating or puppy process. This is the first time that the pairing process has been documented. & # 39;
Dr Pillan had been on the water as part of a five-year joint project between BHP and CSIRO.
The whale specialist has tagged whales to follow their behavior and to understand more about the elusive species.
She was only suspicious because of their erratic behavior, since she had never seen anything like this in her nine years of flying on Ningaloo
Photos of the rare sight of the male whale shark slowly approaching the female before it rolls on its back
CSIRO researcher Richard Pillan was waiting in the nearby boat when he said he saw the water moving
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