Whale Shark Facts

Today we learn about surprising and fascinating facts about Whale sharks. So let's dive into the ocean and take a closer look at the top 15 Whale shark facts.

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Tiger Shark (pic source:wikipedia)

Scientific Classification of Whale Shark

  • Kingdom – Animalia
  • Phylum – Chordata
  • Class – Chondrichthyes
  • Order – Orectolobiformes
  • Family – Rhincodontidae
  • Genus – Rhincodon
  • Species – Rhincodon Typus

Whale Shark Facts

FACT 1. The whale shark is the largest and also the biggest fish species in the world. It is the only member of the Rhinocodontidae family.

FACT 2. They are easily recognized by a distinctive white or creamy spot pattern and stripes on a dark bluish-grey or brown-black background. Their distinctive pattern helps them blend into their environment.

Also Read: Top 10 Popular Types of Sharks.

FACT 3. Whale sharks are found in warm waters in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

FACT 4. How would you feel knowing that the size of the whale shark is bigger than a school bus? Yes, it’s true. They can grow up to 65 feet in length and weigh up to 75,000 pounds.

FACT 5. Despite its gigantic size, whale sharks feed on some of the ocean’s tiny creatures, including crustaceans and plankton, including krill, jellyfish, and crab larvae, which are strained from the water through the shark’s gills by a fine mesh of gill rakers.

Also Read: Angel Shark Facts

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A whale shark encounter in the Maldives - Telegraph

Also Read: Tiger Shark Facts

FACT 6. They have five large pairs of gills to pull oxygen out of the water.

FACT 7. Like human fingerprints, each whale shark also has a unique pattern from which it can be easily identified. Using this unique identification, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has identified 458 different whale sharks in the Philippines.

FACT 8. Whale sharks can swallow 1500 gallons of water each hour.

FACT 9. A whale shark’s mouth is about 5 feet wide (1.5 m). They have 4000 small, pointed teeth arranged in 350 rows.

FACT 10. Could you believe that Whale sharks have tiny teeth on their eyeballs, according to marine biologists from Japan’s Okinawa Churashima Research Center, who published their discovery in PLOS One?

Also Read: Basking Shark Facts

FACT 11. Researchers took a CT scanner to a preserved whale shark eyeball and took ultrasounds of two captive live whale sharks at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan. source

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Whale Sharks Have Tiny Teeth on Their Eyeballs (pic source:sciencealert.com)

FACT 12. These gentle giants are slow swimmers, moving at speeds of about 3 miles per hour.

FACT 13. Good News! Despite their size, whale sharks are considered harmless and are often referred to as “gentle giants.”

FACT 14. It is estimated that whale sharks may have a lifespan of 100 to 150 years.

FACT 15. The whale shark is identified as a migratory species under the International Convention on Migratory Species. Australia plays a vital role in the conservation and protection of this migratory species.

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