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Wisdom Wednesday | Whale Sharks

Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday 05/26/2021

Photo of a whale shark swimming through the ocean. Photo by @inkacresswell on Instagram.

Photo by @inkacresswell

Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish, reaching up to 40 feet and weighing an average of 20,000 pounds. These gentle giants can neither bite nor chew and are filter feeders. Their mouths contain hundreds of rows of tiny teeth and can open up to 4 feet wide. They consume small shrimp, fish, and plankton for food. It’s estimated that less than 10% of whale sharks survive to become adults, both those that do survive can live for up to 150 years. Whale sharks can be found in temperate and tropical waters around the world and migrate thousands of miles throughout the year, however, they swim very slowly and move only about 3 miles per hour. Whale sharks rarely dive to deep depths and is typically found in mid range depths. They have also been observed entering the shallower waters of bays and lagoons. Whale sharks are generally gray and brown on their sides and back and white on their undersides, with with spots in horizontal and vertical line patterns. Each whale shark’s spot pattern is unique to that individual.

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