Whale Sharks – Fun Facts


WHALE SHARKS the kings of the sea! Now that Whale Shark season is approaching (from June to September), here are some interesting facts to get you ready:

Gentle Giants:

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, with some of them measuring 19 meters (62 feet). That is larger than a school bus! Despite their enormous size,  they are known as gentle giants, and they pose no threat to humans.

Unique Appearance:

Their bodies are covered in a distinctive pattern of pale spots and stripes. Just like human fingerprints, these patterns are unique to each shark which makes it possible to identify them.

Filter Feeders:

Despite having around 300-350 rows of teeth (around 3,000 teeth in their whole mouth), whale sharks are filter feeders. This means they swim with their mouths open, filtering plankton and small fish from the water.

They Are Not Whales:

They are only called whales because of their large size and feeding habits. However, they are fish, with cartilage instead of bones, and they breathe through gills, so they are true sharks.

Global Distribution:

Even though whale sharks prefer warm tropical waters, they can be found in oceans around the world. From the tropical water of the Indian Ocean to the coastal areas of Australia, the Philippines, Mexico and Belize.

Migratory Behavior:

Despite being relatively slow, they are known to undertake long-distance migrations. Each year they migrate along the Gulf of Mexico and the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula and the Caribbean.

Reproduction Mystery:

Little is known about their reproductive habits. Pregnant females whale sharks have been observed with large numbers of eggs; however, where and how they give birth is still unknown.

Long Life Span:

Determining their exact lifespan is challenging since they are difficult creatures to study in their natural habitat. However, it is believed that they live between 70 to 100 years!

Deep Divers:

The deepest recorded dive was 1,928 meters (6,325 feet). They can also remain at depths greater than 50 meters (160 feet) for three or more days.

 

Do you want to dive with these awesome giants? Join Pro Dive International at their Whale Shark Safari. Season starts in June!

Still curious about whale sharks? Read our other blogs

TOP 10 Whale Shark Gallery · Whale Shark Stories & Legends · Bumpy Start to a BIG Season