10 Interesting Facts About Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus
Whale Sharks are very close to my heart. They literally swam up and became part of my family and a significant part of my life in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico.
Whale Sharks are the largest KNOWN fish on our planet.
Whale Sharks are docile. But #9 below is also accurate;they are massive and fast.
Whale Sharks have a unique pattern of dots on their entire body. Researchers ID them from the pattern near their pectoral fin, like a fingerprint. Each animal’s pattern is unique.
Whale Sharks are filter feeders-NO TEETH! (only 3 sharks are filter feeders, whale sharks, basking sharks, and the megamouth shark). I have never seen a megamouth shark!
They are carnivores (plankton).
They can grow longer than 40 feet.
They can weigh more than 20 tons.
They are tropical and love warm water, but they are not confined. They can swim in 40F water willingly and likely weekly.
Respect their size. They are fast and strong.
They are threatened. Probably in the worst way. Whale sharks real population numbers are not known. The international database has ID’ed only 5200 individuals worldwide. While boating and pollutions are concerns, their biggest threat is human. They are slaughtered by humans for their fins.
Please share to raise awareness for the protection of these gentle giants.
Michele the Trainer
Engineering/Freelance Global Project Manager
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