New whale shark discovered in Thailand


A new Rhincodon sp.?

A team of Conversation International scientists documented the solitary 12.4 meter long whale shark on March 18, 2014.  Genetic analysis from tissue samples collected from an in situ biopsy will be used to determine whether this specimen is a new species, an aberrant phenotype, or a hybrid (possibly Rhincodon typus x Amphiprion percula).  A second expedition to Ko Samui is planned for late May, 2014, when scientists hope to locate and geotag this specimen for further study.

The whale shark was last sighted in the Sula Sea 50 kilometers northeast of Mindanao swimming alongside a blue whale companion.

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