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Ten Interesting Whale Sharks Facts

Imagine swimming beside an animal as big as a school bus without fear. This peaceful shark is completely harmless to humans

  1. The wide flat body of the whale shark is dark blue-gray with patterned speckles and a white underbelly with unique spotting which provides camouflage underwater.
  2. They are massive. Like all big fish tales, there are rumors of a whale shark measuring 60 feet long. According to the Shark Research Institute, the largest whale shark is confirmed at 40 feet long, caught in India.
  3. They are passive, gentle creatures. Even their feeding method is passive; swimming with their mouth wide open, they feed on plankton, krill, squids, jellyfish, and crabs, and other small schooling fish. Their food is processed by a filter organ. It is a mystery why they have several thousand teeth.
  4. Whale sharks are solitary animals but will gather and travel to feeding grounds together.  
  5. They give birth to live offspring. According to the Shark Research Institute, a Taiwanese fisherman once caught a female shark, and her uteruses contained about 300 embryos, which proved the eggs are hatched inside and born live. After mating, a female can save sperm and stagger the fertilization of her eggs.
  6. Whale sharks travel in open tropical oceans around the world. Between June and September, they can be seen in Caribbean waters of Quintana Roo.
  7. The whale shark is considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The major threats to their survival include the fishing industry, bycatch injuries and death, vessel collisions and careless tourism.

Source: www.sharks.org


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