Here’s the scoop on whale sharks
- It’s a shark that’s the size of a whale! The whale shark is the world’s largest fish / shark. They can grow up to 12 metres long and their average size is from around 5.5 metres to 9 metres. They can weigh as much as a bus.
- Each whale shark has its own unique pattern of spots, much like human fingerprints. Underneath, their bellies are white.
- A mysterious migratory creature, whale sharks like warmer areas and are found in tropical waters.
- A whale shark’s mouth is about 1.5 m wide. Inside, they have rows of over 300 teeth, but they don’t use these teeth to eat because they’re filter feeders.
- While they are meat-loving carnivores, whale sharks do not attack humans. They are filter feeders and eat krill, crab and fish larvae, small schooling fish and jellyfish.
- While they give birth to live young, they are not a mammal like a whale. The whale shark is ovoviparous, meaning the female produces eggs that hatch insider her. When the young are fully developed, the female gives birth to around 300 live young.
- Whale sharks can live around 100 years.
- Whale sharks are under threat worldwide.