10 Interesting Facts About Whale Sharks
You may have heard that whale sharks are a slow swimmer, but did you know that they give birth to 300 baby sharks at once and migrate thousands of miles between feeding grounds? It turns out that these fascinating creatures are far from scary. You may be surprised to know that the number one injury that a whale shark can cause to a human is getting hit by its tail fin.
Whale sharks are slow swimmers
Whale sharks are slow swimmers, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t move around. They migrate hundreds of miles, often in shoals. They can be found in all oceans except for the Mediterranean Sea. Their migrations may take years and thousands of miles, and they can be found anywhere in the world except for Antarctica. Unfortunately, many of these majestic animals are killed each year, and they often end up in fishing gear or are deliberately hunted for their fins, which are a delicacy in Asia. Other threats to whale sharks include climate change and plastic pollution.
They feed on plankton
Whale sharks are one of the largest fishes in the world, growing up to 12 meters long and 15 tonnes in weight. They feed on plankton and filter water using their enormous gills. They consume approximately 2.8 kilograms of food each day. These giants are intelligent and understand when plankton, fish, and other vegetation are spawning around the world.
They give birth to 300 babies at once
Whale sharks have a unique reproductive system, allowing them to give birth to hundreds of babies at a time. The embryo develops inside an egg, which is then carried inside the mother until it is ready to emerge. Some female whale sharks have been caught with 300 or more babies in one litter. In addition, female whale sharks can store male sperm and choose when to fertilize their eggs.
They migrate thousands of miles between feeding grounds
While great white sharks are omnivores, some species of shark migrate thousands of miles to feed. They do this in order to find the freshest fish. However, such migrations require large amounts of energy. Some species migrate only during specific times of the year, while others migrate throughout the year. The migration of some species may be driven by mating or reproduction, while others may migrate to feed in areas with cooler water.
They live up to 100 years
Whale sharks are one of the largest species of sharks and can grow up to 18 meters long. They can weigh up to 30 tons and can live for over 100 years. The whale shark is a migratory species and lives in most warm and temperate oceans. These magnificent animals have large mouths and feed mostly on plankton and small fish. They pose no threat to humans.
They are not aggressive
Despite their large size, whale sharks do not pose a serious threat to humans. In fact, if you swim with one in a pristine ocean, you will have the opportunity to see a spectacular ocean animal and interact with its amazing behaviour. Although the giant fish can reach a size of five feet, it would never attempt to eat a human being. And even though its mouth is enormous, its throat is only the size of a quarter.
They don’t threaten humans
Though it is true that whale sharks don’t pose a threat to humans, they are still a subject of controversy. Some fear that the physical contact between humans and whale sharks will have negative effects on the animal. Nevertheless, being up close with these gentle giants is a special experience.