The first photo of a baby whale shark caught off New Zealand is being released by researchers.
The whale shark was first spotted off the coast of Northland on April 4.
Researchers say they’ve captured photos of the baby whale in its underwater lair.
“This is a new species and there are still a lot of questions about its life history,” lead researcher Dr David O’Leary told reporters.
“It’s one of the few things that are still in its infancy.
We need to do a lot more work to understand the whole story of its life and what it’s trying to do.”
The whale sharks first appeared on the New Zealand shores in February 2017, after being caught off the northern coast of the state.
A small pod of the fish, which measures between three and five metres (13 and 17 feet), is thought to be the most common in the world.
It has been spotted in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, with experts speculating that it may be a member of the family Phoenicopidae.
Whale sharks are known for their size, with scientists estimating they weigh up to 6.5 tonnes (13.6 metric tons).
This species is one of many whale shark species that have been identified across the globe.
In the past, it has been found in a number of places, including Australia, the Gulf of Mexico and the Arabian Sea.
However, there have been only a handful of confirmed sightings of the species in the oceans.