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Whale Shark

Posted in Sea Creatures

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean. They grow up to 40 feet long (about as big as a school bus) and weigh an average of 26 tons!  They are gray in color with pale white spots and stripes.

 

 

 

 

Where-do-they-live

Whale sharks prefer warmer water and can be found in tropical oceans around the world.  Every spring, they migrate to the central west coast of Australia where they have a plentiful amount of food.

 

 

What-do-they-eat

Even though it’s big enough to eat a person, whale sharks can’t swallow anything bigger than the size of a small dinner plate.  They mainly feed on krill and plankton, which are very tiny plants and animals.

 

 

What-are-their-predators

There aren’t many things in the ocean that can eat a fish this big, but there are other animals that prey on the juveniles. These include some other sharks, blue marlin and orcas.

 

What-are-their-defenses

Despite their fearsome looks, whale sharks are very gentle fish so they don’t have many ways to defend themselves.  

Whale sharks have the thickest skin of any animal on earth, up to six inches thick! They use this feature to protect themselves from their enemies through a maneuver known as “banking”. This means that when the shark is threatened, it turns it’s tough, thick back towards the attacker and quickly dives out of reach.

 

 

How-fast-do-they-move

Whale sharks are really slow swimmers, swimming only about 3 mph!

 

 

Did-y<a href=

 

Whale sharks can live to be over 100 years old? 

 

 

Danger-scale

 

 

Even though these are huge sharks and look really scary, whale sharks aren’t at all dangerous or aggressive.

 

Can-you-believe

whale sharks can give birth to up to 300 pups at one time?

 

 

My-favorite-thing

about whale sharks is their size and how gentle they are.  

 

What is your favorite thing about them?

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