Costa Rica Expedition: Bull Shark Tagging

Research Target: Bull Sharks

Mission Purpose

In the Bat Islands of Costa Rica, our mission today is to take tissue samples from adult Bull Sharks at a cleaning station. The samples help scientists document and identify migration patterns of the species, to better understand and protect both adults and their offspring.

Two Bull Sharks

We encountered a large female with the top of her dorsal fin partially missing.  Approximately nine feet in length, she appeared to be a healthy and beautiful Bull Shark.  We were unable to gather a sample from her, but she was an absolute delight to see.

Later, we came upon a large male, but again, missed the opportunity to tag him.  Despite being a cleaning station where the animals are traveling at a slower pace, today was not the day.

Manta Ray

Suddenly, the light went dark.  We look up to find a Manta Ray cruising above us with approximately a twenty foot wingspan.  What a magnificent creature! The white splotches help identify this Ray, as each pattern of a Manta Ray are as different as our human fingerprints.  This ray will be documented in the database to once again, track migration patterns, size, and more, which will assist the species in future protections.

Manta Migrations are very much of interest. Our scientist attempted to make a tag, but ascending from ninety feet while chasing a Manta, which is built for the ocean environment, doesn't always pan out.  However, we did successfully tag two Giant Manta Rays on this specific expedition.

Go diving. See cool stuff.