Meet the whale shark; you will be surprised by this beautiful species
The whale shark is a fish that has become known as the largest on Planet Earth.
A specimen that, despite belonging to a species that has been stigmatized and attacked over the years, it is characterized by its charisma and the lack of risk that it represents to humans.
We tell you everything you need to know about whale shark
For more than 60 million years ago the whale shark has been sailing the oceans of our planet, and it has never ceased to amaze those who, fascinated by its behavior and large dimensions, discover it. The scientific name of the largest fish in the world is “Rhincodon typus”.
The name of the whale shark has been attributed to it because it has external physical characteristics that are similar to the appearance of a whale.
The first discovered specimen of this species – as recorded in the records – was found in South Africa in 1828.
Describing whale shark
One of the first characteristics we can mention about whale shark, has to do with the fact that its back has an intense gray color, as well as a series of white and yellow lines, arranged both horizontally and vertically. At the same time, another of the external characteristics that can be seen with ease has to do with the important presence of moles.
The spots on the Whale Shark are pretty much as unique as our finger prints, no 2 whale sharks have the exact same spots on its body.
It is estimated that an adult whale shark can reach up to 20 meters in length. At the same time, its mouth tends to measure approximately 1.5 meters wide.
How do whale sharks feed?
The way a whale shark feeds is unique to whale species. It carries out a process that consists of water filtration in order to absorbs its nutrients. It is a specimen whose diet consists predominantly of plankton, very small fish, crab larvae, macroalgae and nekton among others.
The whale shark’s vision isn’t very good, so it uses olfactory signals to find its food.
Where can the Whale Shark be found?
Whale shark tends to be found in tropical waters, where the presence of plankton is abundant and there is a depth of at least about 700 meters. It is because of that which is usually seen in the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. At present, it is estimated that the territory with the greatest amount of whale sharks, is the Philippines.
Why is the whale shark threatened?
Today, the whale shark is seen as one of the threatened species. This is mainly because their sexual maturity occurs late, which strongly delays the species continuity.
At the same time, whale sharks are heavily hunted in asian waters. It’s very commercialized, especially in the food industry. Also, its cartilage is used to develop a great diversity of medicines, as well as its skin is used for other productions.