By, Crystal S. Kauffman, Contributing Writer
Whale sharks are a majestic beast, which fascinates scientist and tourist alike, yet many misunderstand this gentle giant. Learning more about this species of shark will help people begin to understand that the whale sharks are not dangerous. According to Shark-World, the whale shark is also known as the Rhincodon typus, which has been confirmed as a largest fish in the entire world. Scientists and tourist have chosen to go scuba diving with these majestic creatures, yet they found them to be docile and nonthreatening to humans.
According to Sharks-World, the whale shark is the largest species of shark in the world, which has been on this planet for millions of years according to scientists. The largest recorded whale shark was 40 feet in length, but some say they have seen whale sharks that are about 60 feet long. They are also known as the largest species of this on earth and can weigh over 20 tons. However, despite their massive size, they are generally known as gentle giants.
A whale sharks mouth is 4 feet wide and they are filter feeders, but their preferred meal is plankton or small fish. According to Sharks-World, the gentle giant prefers to live in warm waters like the ones found in Mexico, tropical seas, and Australia. During the spring, the whale shark migrates to the continental shelf, which is found on the West Coast of the Australian sea. This area of the Australian sea allows the whale shark to find plenty of plankton to eat and thrive on.
The gentle giant has a flattened head and a blunted snout just above its massive mouth, which has short barbels that protrude from its nostrils. According to Sharks-World, the whale sharks body is bigger that a school bus, which makes this gentle giant the biggest fish on the planet. The sharks back and sides are a dark gray to a brownish color with white spots. The gentle giants belly is white and it has two dorsal fins, which are set facing the rear of its body.
The gentle giants have a massive tail, which helps them swim when migrating or just hunting the food they crave like plankton. According to Sharks-World, these gentle giants are considered to be a threatened or vulnerable species, but they are still hunted in Asia and the Philippines. These giant sharks are docile and will allow a swimmer to interact with them, as well as hitching a ride. It is up to us and future generations to help save this majestic creature from becoming extinct.
Sharks-World.com (2015) Whale Shark
Retrieved on the World Wide Web on July 16, 2015
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