Whale sharks

The whale shark (Rhincondon typus) is the largest known fish on our earth. At a maximum length of 13 meters (estimations are much greater) and 12 tons of weight they are feeding on plankton, microorganisms and for example shrimps -as some whales do it-. The unique end position of the mouth distinguishes them from all other sharks. The most characterstic feature are the white dots on the back of the whale shark. They are like a fingerprint, cause they are singular for every individual. This species is often swimming with a wide open mouth, cause of filtering around six tons of water per hour. Plankton and small fishes become catched by the ca. 3000 teeth inside the mouth and with their gills. They prefer warm, tropical and subtropical water temperatures above 20°C. The sexual maturity is reached at the age of around 20 years, while they can live more than 100 years. Whale sharks are very peaceful and almost not dangerous for humans, if a minimal distance of around 4 meters to the tailfin is respected.

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