Brad with the high-tech tag Photo Credit: Brad Norman
The whale shark is the world's biggest living fish Photo Credit: Rolex Awards / Kurt Amsler
Movement of the Magellanic Penguin at seat - click to enlarge Photo: Courtesy Rory Wilson
Wilson tested his logging device on Moon, his Border Collie Photo Credit: Rolex Awards / Marc Latzel
Whale shark with the "Black Box" attached Photo Credit: Rolex Awards / Kurt Amsler
This year the secret life of one of the Earth’s largest and most mysterious creatures, the whale shark, will be laid bare for the first time when some of the gentle giants off Western Australia’s coral Ningaloo coast are equipped with "black box flight recorders". The project is the result of a collaboration between two Laureates of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise – Australian Brad Norman who set up the world’s first photo-ID system for identifying whale sharks and Briton Rory Wilson, who has developed the world’s most sophisticated device for monitoring the activity of animals in the wild. With capabilities beyond those of GPS-based animal tracking systems, Wilson's logger monitors changes in an animal’s acceleration in every direction – forward/back, up/down or sideways - at a rate of up to 32 times a second, and, combined with a compass, determines the animal’s speed, direction and position. Julian Cribb and Graeme O'Neill report.
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