Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Whale Sharks are the biggest fish in the world. Blue whales are far bigger, but they are air breathing marine mammals. Whale sharks can grow up to 40 feet long and weigh up to 15 tons. Strangely enough, they are one of only 3 species of sharks in the ocean that are not harmful to humans. In fact they are often photographed swimming peacefully with divers.
These gentle giants do not have the rows of razor sharp teeth fitted in most of their relatives. Instead of prowling constantly in search of blood, they casually glide through the ocean with their huge mouths open wide. They are filter feeders. This means they strain out microscopic plankton from the ocean around them as their food. They are another example of one of the biggest animals in the ocean feeding on some of the smallest.