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Whale shark

(Rhincodon typus)


Category: Fish



These slow-moving, filter-feeders are the largest known living fish species. It is not unusual for them to reach over 45 feet in length and weigh over 30 metric tons (66,000 pounds)! They inhabit tropical and warm-temperate seas throughout the world, living in open ocean but typically not swimming to great depths. Despite their size, they are docile fish and pose no danger to humans.



Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Chondrichthyes
Order - Orectolobiformes
Family - Rhincodontidae
Genus - Rhincodon
Species - R. typus

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

Undersea Conversations…

While it isn’t obvious, fish have ears, and are able to communicate to one another through sounds. They don’t have vocal chords, but instead vibrate their swim bladders, producing popping, grunting, moaning, barking, or chirping noises. While some species of fish, like the goldfish, are silent listeners, there are over 1000 species that are known to vocalize, and some, like the gurnard who are veritable chatterboxes. While we can’t have a conversation with them - at least not yet - it is theorized that they do it to attract mates, frighten away predators or competitors, to synchronize mating, call for help and warn others, or to orient themselves.

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