Tracking a whale shark in Google Earth

Here is another amazing use for Google Earth network links that is completely new to me: has been tracking a whale shark named Schroeder through the Indian ocean using satellite tags. The shark is headed towards Somalia via a slightly erratic route, and you can follow its progress on Google Earth using this KMZ link.

What an imaginative way to build awareness of both animal behaviour and the studies being done on them! How great would it be to be able to turn on tracking for migratory birds, for whales, and perhaps time-delayed tracking for elephants and great apes (to flummox poachers)? It would be yet another must-have component of any school curriculum studying the animal kingdom.

(The whale shark has been named Schroeder in honor of the German chancellor — who said scientists don’t have a sense of humor?) (Via GEH)