The Whale shark

There is an expression that says: "Size does not matter!" In several situations, it would be wrong but in this case, I tend to agree with it. Often people believe that for sharks, the bigger, the most dangerous it is, but in the case of the Whale shark, it does not apply.

Let's discover this shark species! The Whale shark belongs to the order of Orectolobiformes. Its scientific name is Rhincodon Typus. It is the largest fish roaming in the oceans and seas. It has a pattern of spots
covering its skin and it can be seen opening its large front-set mouth to suck up its preys, which tend to swim in groups.

The areas where Whale sharks live include all temperate and tropical seas, to the exception of the Mediterranean Sea. They like to show up on a yearly basis in some specific areas for plankton blooming and coral spawning.   

The Whale shark is protected in some countries and has been quite popular in areas such as Western Australia where ecotourism is peaking. People enjoy the opportunity of either observing them first hand
or swimming by their side. 

In other places such as Taiwan, as many as 100 Whale sharks have been killed. Such a sad faith endangers this species, which takes a long time to grow and reach their maturity.  

Their maximal size is uncertain but it can reach up to 20 m in length and a weight of more than 12,000 kg. Its diet mainly includes: zooplankton, squid and small fish. This shark specie is viviparous, which means Whale sharks give birth to live pups. The number of pups delivered at once varies but the most ever discovered in a female whale
shark in Taiwan was 300 pups.  

As you can see, the Whale shark is a gentle giant of the seas and certainly does not deserve the bad reputation given to the Great White shark in the movie "Jaws".

If you wish to learn more about other types of sharks, I
encourage you to visit the following main page: Types of sharks.