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Whale shark at the Georgia Aquarium. Zac Wolf / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.5

A team of scientists has tracked a whale shark (Rhincodon typus) across more than 20,000 kilometers (over 12,000 miles) of ocean, the longest migration ever recorded for the species.

In 2011, the researchers attached a transmitting tag to a shark they named "Anne" in the Pacific Ocean near Panama's Coiba Island. Over the next 841 days, Anne's transmitter would ping the ARGOS satellite whenever she swam near the surface. Those data points allowed the team to follow her movements south to the Galapagos Islands and clear across the Pacific to the Marianas Trench south of Japan and east of the Philippines—a distance of 20,142 kilometers (12,516 miles).

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In this beautiful video from The Dodo, scuba divers rescue whale sharks stuck in a fishing net. The best part comes next—when the divers' newfound friends hang around to celebrate.

The extraordinary whale shark takes 30 years to reach maturity and can live more than 100 years. They can grow more than 40 feet long. They can even stand on their tails.

And while they are the largest fish in the sea, they are not predators, but rather filter feeders subsisting on the tiniest food available—zooplankton and small fish such as sardines and anchovies swimming into their open mouths.

Their size and thick skin help protect them from predators, but not from humans, as commercial fishing has exploited them to the brink of extinction.

This amazing footage was shared by Txus R. at Indocruises.

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Dead whale shark buried at Pamban South Beach in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. @TOIChennai

An 18-foot long whale shark washed up dead on Pamban South Beach in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.

"The cause of death is found to be heavy internal injuries it has suffered when it either hit a rock or a big vessel," local wildlife ranger S Sathish told the Times of India.

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