Whale Shark ((LINK))
Whale sharks can be found in all temperate and tropical oceans around the world, except the Mediterranean Sea. They can migrate thousands of miles to different feeding grounds, but only at a slow swimming speed of around 3 miles per hour.
Their ocean home is also in danger. From climate change warming the water - affecting both habitats, prey and shark population shifts - to plastic pollution, which could cause entanglement or be ingested, especially by filter feeders.
Whaleshark produced a nice map for my fantasy-adventure novel. The project had a lot of small details and getting them all right took quite a few iterations. During this time, the freelancer was very prompt, communicative, and professional. In the end the studio met my requirements, and I am very pleased with the final product. Whaleshark continues to deliver consistently excellent artwork with solid client engagement; I will definitely use them again for future projects.
Despite their name, whale sharks are not whales, they are actually fish. Their name comes from their huge size. Often growing to 40 feet long or more, the whale shark is a fish that is about the size of a large school bus. These sharks are filter feeders, like many whales, and live on a diet of plankton and tiny krill or small fish. Whale sharks are generally peaceful fish and have been known to allow divers to hang onto their dorsal fins for a ride.
The Whale Shark is the biggest fish in the world. It is a large fish that can grow up to 60 feet long, though most specimens reach about 40 feet in length and weigh about 15 tons. The largest known whale shark was measured at 62 feet in 2001, with a weight estimated to be over 60 tons.
These fish have the shape of a shark, but their mouths are in the front of their large, flat heads rather than underneath as with many sharks. Their mouths are large, with the mouth of an average-sized shark reaching more than five feet wide, allowing them to scoop up their food as they swim. Whale sharks are dark gray on top and light underneath, with a series of light spots or stripes covering the dark parts of their bodies. This helps to camouflage them as they swim.They tend to be non-aggressive and often allow themselves to be approached by divers who can gently interact with them without any problems. These huge fish will sometimes allow divers to grab their dorsal fins and will then tow them through the water, seemingly without concern. They sometimes swim up to boats and may even bump into the crafts, but this behavior appears to be done out of curiosity and is not intended to harm. They coexist well with other sea life unless they feel threatened.These sharks are usually solitary, living by themselves except for at certain times of the year when they have been observed gathering in groups, called schools, for feeding, such as their annual migration to the coast of Australia.
Litter size is uncertain, but a litter of 300 whale shark babies (called pups) has been documented. The babies are about 21 to 25 inches long at birth.Whale shark lifespan is not clearly known, but it is estimated around 70 years and scientists have determined that these big fish can live for over 100 years, possibly as long as 125 years.
No accurate counts of the worldwide whale shark population exist, but their numbers appear to be decreasing significantly in parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Many countries have banned or regulated the hunting of whale sharks, but such activities still occur in various parts of the world.
In China, hundreds of these fish are illegally killed each year, at least partly for their fins which are prized for their supposed medicinal qualities. The oil is also collected to be used in food and medicine, and the meat is used either fresh or salted as a food source for some people. Some estimates show a decline of about 75 percent of the whale shark population in certain parts of the Pacific Ocean. For this reason, their conservation status is listed by the IUCN as endangered.
A blue whale is much larger than a whale shark. Blue whales are about 98 feet in length, so they dwarf even the largest known whale sharks that only get about 60 feet long. However, since blue whales are mammals and whale sharks are not, the whale shark is still the largest fish in the world.
As a general rule, whale sharks are not dangerous and are generally not aggressive toward people. They often interact with divers or with people on boats in a peaceful, non-threatening manner. Young whale sharks have even been described by some observers as playful. Humans must keep in mind the enormous size of this animal, however, and be aware that a person could easily be accidentally injured by an adult whale shark.
A megalodon would decisively win a fight against a whale shark. This massive fish has every reason to win and none to lose. Not only does it have a size and speed advantage, but it is also an actual killer, unlike the whale shark.
Characteristic spots and stripes adorn the largest fish in the sea forming an intricate pattern, like a warrior painted for battle. Scientists use these distinctive markings to identify individual whale sharks. Like a fingerprint, each is as unique and special as the last.
10% of profits from the sales of this product will be donated to Marine Megafauna Foundation, a non-profit focused on the research and conservation of threatened marine megafauna, particularly sharks and rays.
Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are fish, not whales - allowing them to hold the esteemed title of "largest fish in the sea" (since sharks are fish too!). These charismatic creatures can reach lengths of 12 meters (40 feet) or more! Despite their large size, they feed on some of the smallest organisms in the sea, plankton. Hanging vertically in the water column they're able to suction feed and filter these tiny organisms through their gill rakers much like a giant vacuum cleaner pulls dust and dirt from a kitchen floor, filtering the fragments into its chamber within.
Unfortunately, approximately 100 million sharks are killed every year by humans, through direct targeted fishing efforts as well as unintended bycatch from other fisheries. The whale shark is one species of shark that is particularly vulnerable to this commercial fishing due to their high value in international trade, in addition to their highly migratory nature and normally low abundance. Research into the lives of these gentle giants can help us to manage their populations and keep these magnificent fish in the ocean where they belong.
The Marine Megafauna Foundation is helping to shed light on the population structure, migratory patterns, and the conservation requirements of these threatened sharks. Created in 2009, they aim to research, protect and conserve the large populations of marine megafauna (large marine species) found along the Mozambican coastline. Almost all whale sharks encountered by divers are juveniles and most are males. Where the school-bus-sized mature sharks swim, what they eat, and where the females give birth has long been a mystery, however their team is now very close to making these discoveries. 10% of profits from your purchase will go to the Marine Megafauna Foundation for satellite tags that are needed to track the movements of these large female whale sharks.
Whale sharks may grow up to 40 feet and weigh as much as 40 tons by some estimates. Whale sharks longer longer than about 39 feet are uncommon. They have broad, flat heads with short snouts and their backs have an interesting white, yellow, and grey checkerboard pattern. It is unknown how long whale sharks can live, however, scientists believe they can live approximately 60-100 years.
The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a relatively recent addition to the human record of the ocean and its inhabitants. However, the ancestry of this shark goes back to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods 245-65 million years ago, when the present groups of sharks began to appear.
It was not until 1828 when the first whale shark specimen known to science was discovered off the South African coast. Dr Andrew Smith formally described this species later that year as the largest living shark in the ocean.
This species is rare. Prior to the mid-1980's, there had been less than 350 confirmed reports of whale sharks worldwide. Since this time, consistent sightings have been recorded in Australia. A lucrative ecotourism industry revolving around their annual appearance at Ningaloo Marine Park on the Western Australian northwest coast is now well established.
This species is closely related to the bottom-dwelling sharks (Orectolobiformes), which include the wobbegong. There is a pattern of lines and spots on the skin of each shark which enables them to 'blend' into their surroundings. This 'camouflage' makes the sharks less conspicuous in their oceanic environment. The unique patterning does not appear to change over time and can be used to identify individual sharks.
One of only three filter-feeding sharks (the other two being the basking and megamouth sharks), the whale shark feeds on minute organisms including krill, crab larvae, jellyfish etc. Although they have approximately 3000 tiny teeth (each less than 6 millimetres in length), these teeth are not used while feeding. Instead, the whale shark can sieve prey items as small as 1 millimetre through the fine mesh of the gill-rakers. They are able to open their mouth to a great width (greater than 1 metre) to optimise feeding.
Whale sharks can also feed via 'suction' while vertical in the water. Information on feeding behaviour, when combined with sighting data, may help researchers understand how shark appearance is related to natural events in the marine environment.
A long-term study has been undertaken at Ningaloo Marine Park since 1995 by Brad Norman. This has established that male whale sharks do not usually mature before they reach a length of around 8-9 metres. The size at maturity of female whale sharks cannot, however, be determined through similar external observation. 041b061a72