Whale sharks can grow up to an astonishing 31 feet and 20,000 pounds. Some have been even bigger. The whale shark’s unique characteristics include its flat and wide head and its five very large pairs of gills. Whale sharks live in temperate, tropical waters all over the world. Their coloring is predominantly grey, with their underside belly being white. They also have varying spots and stripes that are pale yellow in color, though they can vary from shark to shark.
Rhincodon typus doesn’t use its teeth to eat, but its filter pads. It will open is mouth, then swim forward so that water and food are quickly enclosed. It may also use a suction type action. The pads help to keep the food separate from the water which is then released through its gills. The whale shark’s diet consists of plankton, krill, algae and veterbrates as well as small squid.
There is no known scientific evidence about how whale sharks reproduce but it is believed that females keep fertilized eggs within their bodies and only give birth to pups at a certain time.
© Copyright Vince Capone 2013