International Whale Shark Day

August 30

Today is the International Whale shark Day, created to celebrate the largest fish non cetacean of the oceans.


The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving, filter feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. Whale shark mouths can contain over 300 rows of tiny teeth and 20 filter pads which it uses to filter feed.


These gentle giants can reach 15 meters long, but there have been reports of individuals reaching 21 meters long and can weight up to about 20 tons. It is estimated that they can live to 50 - 130 in the wild.


They have about 300 pups and are ovoviparous. (the pups are approximately 20 inches/45 cm). They give birth during a prolonged time.


Sadly like most marine species, the whale sharks are an endangered species.

The main causes are: Humans polluting the ocean as often they consume plastic,

fishing, by-catch, ship strikes, oil spills and hundreds are illegally killed by Chinese mostly

for their fins, but also for its skin, meat and oil.


Sources:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/w/whale-shark/

https://www.livescience.com/55412-whale-sharks.html

https://oceana.org/marine-life/sharks-rays/whale-shark

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_shark

https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/2020/08/30/



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