Whale sharks show an incredible ability to recover from injuries

“These basic findings provide us with an initial understanding of wound healing in this species,” said lead author Freya Womersley, a Ph.D. student with the University of Southampton based at the Marine Biology Society, UK. ” We wanted to find out if there was a way to gauge what many researchers were seeing interestingly in the field, so we came up with a way to monitor and analyze it. injuries over time. “

The unique spot marks of whale sharks allow researchers around the world to identify individuals and track regional numbers, making use of websites like WildBook where people can upload pictures of their shark scenes. For this study, the research team examined photographs taken by citizen scientists, researchers and the whale shark tourism industry at two sites in the Indian Ocean where sharks often congregate, and used are these markers to harmonize between images. This approach allowed the team to compare photographs taken without specific equipment over time and augmented the available data to evaluate and analyze how individual lesions changed.