The head is broad and flat, with a somewhat truncated snout and an immense mouth. Several prominent ridges of hard tissue, often called keels, extend horizontally along each side of the body to the tail. There are five large gill slits on each side of the head region, just above the pectoral fins.
What is the description of a whale shark?
Characteristics. The whale shark’s flattened head sports a blunt snout above its mouth with short barbels protruding from its nostrils. Its back and sides are gray to brown with white spots among pale vertical and horizontal stripes, and its belly is white.
What is the function of a whale shark?
Whale sharks are filter feeders, sieving enormous amounts of plankton, krill, small fish and even squid through their gills as they swim along. After closing their mouth, the sharks use their gills rakers, thousands of bristly structures about 10 cm long, to clean the captured prey from its gills.
What shape is a whale shark?
The Whale Shark is the world’s largest fish; it grows to 40ft long (12m) and can weigh over 20 tonnes. Whale Sharks have a wide flat head, shaped like a blunt square, with a very wide mouth in front and small eyes on the sides.
What makes a whale shark a shark?
A whale shark is a fish and breathes via its gills. … However, they have cartilage instead of bone – making them a true shark. The whale shark is the largest living shark. It is the only member of the Rhinocodontidae family.
What is the difference between sharks and whales?
The whales raise their young ones whereas sharks do not. Whales have bones whereas the sharks have no bones but only cartilage. Whales are much larger than sharks. The blue whale is the largest of all the mammals on Earth. You may also read,
Do whale sharks eat people?
According to Metro, whale sharks are filter feeders and won’t eat any humans they encounter. They feed only on plankton and very small fish. Check the answer of
Why is it illegal to touch a whale shark?
Whale sharks are slow moving animals, but they are so big it will appear they are moving fast. … It is illegal to touch a whale shark, so make sure to swim out of the way if one swims toward you. There’s no mistaking their large size and tremendous power, especially of their tail!
Are whale sharks friendly?
Whale sharks are one of the most amazing animals in the world — and while they may be sharks, they’re also one of the most gentle fish in the sea. In fact, whale sharks are so gentle, they’re completely safe to swim around. Read:
How did the whale shark get its name?
The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) earns the name “whale” solely because of its size. … Whale sharks also consume krill, other zooplankton, fish eggs, and small fishes by bobbing up and down near the water surface to pump prey-filled water over their gills or swimming with their wide mouths agape.
Is it illegal to touch a whale shark?
Whale sharks have 300 rows of tiny teeth in each jaw which are not used. … It is illegal to touch a whale shark, so make sure to swim out of the way if one swims toward you. There’s no mistaking their large size and tremendous power, especially of their tail!
Has a whale shark ever killed a human?
These huge animals are not dangerous. Whale sharks have never attacked humans.
What is the smallest shark ever?
The smallest shark, a dwarf lantern shark (Etmopterus perryi) is smaller than a human hand. It’s rarely seen and little is known about it, having only been observed a few times off the northern tip of South America at depths between 283–439 meters (928–1,440 feet).
Who is more powerful whale or shark?
Both the great white shark and the killer whale or orca are fearsome top predators. But of the two massive animals, the killer whale may be the more formidable one, a new study has found.
Do whales eat humans?
Despite occasional reports of whales scooping people into their mouths, it’s incredibly rare—and for all but one species, swallowing a human is physically impossible. On Friday, a lobster diver made headlines when he described miraculously surviving being “swallowed” by a humpback whale off Cape Cod, Massachusetts.