Whale Sharks will swim through you if you don't get out of the way

Published March 9, 2020 2,075 Views

Rumble / Wild WildlifeThe Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest fish species in the world, reaching 10 meters in length, and weighing 9 tons! But in spite of its impressive size, the whale shark is a filter feeder, which means that it only eats plankton, and it is harmless to us. Of all animals in the world, the Whale Shark is the one with the thickest skin, reaching up to 15 cm (6 in), covered in dermal denticles, which are tough, tooth-like scales, and it regenerates quickly after an attack.

Because Whale Sharks don't really have to worry about predators, they aren't scared of people, and won't bother to swim around you if you are in its way, so even though Whale Sharks are harmless, you might want to move out of the way if you see one movin towards you!

It is the sole species in the Rhincodon genus, and the only member of the Rhincodontidae family, although it shares the Orectolobiformes order with a diverse group of sharks from all over the world, including the 30 cm long Barbelthroat Carpet Shark (Cirrhoscyllium expolitum), with a total of 43 species.

Whale Sharks are endangered, and major threats include fisheries catches, bycatch in nets, and boat strikes. Unfortunately, recent studies show that Whale Shark fins are now demanding high prices, which should result in increased targeting.