The Whale Shark

The Endangered Giant

Whale Shark

The Whale Shark (Rhinocodon Typus) is the largest fish and shark on the planet. As for being endangered, the Whale Shark is considered Vulnerable, Meaning, that if the hunting of these whale does not stop, they will become endangered.
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Information

The average weight of a whale shark is around 11 tons (22,000 lbs) around the weight of a normal firetruck. Most whale sharks are found to be about 40 ft long. The mouth of the shark can open up to five feet wide, and can contain up to 350 rows of teeth. Unlike other whales, the Whale Shark breathes through gills. They have a mostly grey body, usually with an white underside. Each shark has a unique pattern of white dots on its upper body, these dots can be used to track an individual shark, since no pattern is the same. Most sharks are aggressive hunters that will go after or chase their prey, but whale sharks are filter feeders.

Location

Whale Sharks, like larger fish, don't stay in the same area for a long time. They usually travel long distances to reach warm water areas of the tropics. They were once spotted in a group of about 400 off the coast of Mexico, and one whale shark was recorded to have gone 8,000 miles in a little over 3 years.

Importance

Whale Shark are one way to indicate the health and amount of plankton in our oceans, if a whale shark is healthy, than that means their are plentiful amounts of plankton.