PICTURES of whale Sharks

 
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Whale Shark Photos and Information on the Largest Living Fish

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The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is the largest living fish species, reaching up to 40 feet in length, and weighing up to 47,000 pounds. It lives in the open ocean in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide, and can live to be 70 or more years old. Whale sharks have very distinctive markings with a mostly grey body, white belly, and covered in a pattern of pale yellow spots and stripes which are unique to each animal allowing them to be easily identified.  They have five pairs of gills, and small eyes on the front of its wide, flat head. Whale sharks are mostly solitary, large groups are rare.

Whale sharks have huge mouths with many tiny teeth, and are filter feeders, feeding solely on phytoplankton, algae, plankton, krill and small squid and vertebrates. They feed by taking in large amounts of water into the mouth, then forcing that water out through the gills, trapping the food in the gill plates. It is an active feeder, seeking out concentrations of plankton, and can feed by gulping, unlike the basking shark that is a passive feeder collecting food as it swims along.

The whale shark is viviparous, giving birth to live young nearly two feet long, and pregnant females have been killed containing hundreds of pups. They are believed to reach sexual maturity at 30 years old.

The whale shark is a gentle creature, and not dangerous to people, and usually indifferent to divers.  However people are dangerous to whale sharks, and they are listed as "Vulnerable" with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The sharks are at risk from being struck by boats while feeding, and are targeted by commercial fisheries in several areas. Whale shark fins are sold in Hong Kong and other Asian markets, and the liver oil is used for waterproofing boats and in the manufacture of shoe polish.

All fishing, selling, importing and exporting of whale sharks for commercial purposes is now banned in the Philippines, India, and Taiwan, because of the serious impact on the species.

>>> Click Here for Information and Photos of Whale Sharks on the Ningaloo Reef, Australia

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Picture of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 009861

Image of head of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, feeding, Mexico, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 001446

Stock photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Thailand, Andaman Sea

Picture #: 002864

Photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, feeding, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 005403

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Picture of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Darwin Island, Galapagos, East Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 005379

Image of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, and diver, Surin Islands, Thailand, Andaman Sea

Picture #: 002860

Stock photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 001432

Photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Surin Islands, Thailand, Andaman Sea

Picture #: 005398

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Picture of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, feeding on bait fish, W. Australia, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 005390

Image of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 001433

Stock photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

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Photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, feeding, with golden pilot jacks swimming inside mouth, Australia

Picture #: 005382

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Picture of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, approaching boat, off Lanai, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 001434

Image of head of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 005405

Stock photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, and videographer, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 005386

Photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Galapagos Island, Pacific

Picture #: 029502

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Picture of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, and snorkler, Kona, Big Island, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 009858

Image of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, feeding, with remora, Darwin Island, Galapagos, East Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 007736

Stock photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, off Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

Picture #: 029303-V

Photo of a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, Ningaloo Reef, Cape Range National Park, Australia, Indian Ocean

Picture #: 062649

 

>>> Click Here for Information and Photos of Whale Sharks on the Ningaloo Reef, Australia