Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whale Shark


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.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow what a big shark were can i see this

NovaBlogger said...

I'm glad you asked. You can actually see a live whale shark at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. They have one of the few Whale Sharks in captivity. You can even schedule an opportunity to swim with a whale shark in this huge aquarium. The only other Whale Shark I know of is in Okinawa, Japan.

NovaBlogger said...

I actually just got back from a vacation where I got to stand in that very room in the Georgia Aquarium where they have some of the few captive whale sharks in the world. They now have THREE whale sharks cruising along in a gigantic aquarium. Actually seeing one up close was absolutely breathtaking.

lauren said...

thank you for the information on the captive whale shark. while i'd love to see one in its natural habitat, i am by no means that skilled of a diver. it's nice to know i may be able to go and see one sooner than i thought!

Sierra said...

yay! The whale shark! My favorite type, then comes the great white. I love these animals, and swimming with one is amazing. I named one I swam with Reno. Haha, I haven't seen him for awhile though.

I'd like to see more of this animal. =]

Anonymous said...

I love aquariums, so my boyfriend took me to the Georgia Aquarium 2 years ago for to see the whale sharks for my birthday. He proposed in that room, right in front of the shark tank : )

Anonymous said...

I bet he really took your breath away. The whale shark tank is breathtaking enough, but a marriage proposal on top of it? I'm surprised you didn't pass out. I bet the whale shark has a much deeper meaning to you now doesn't it?

dosflame said...

You can actually see whale sharks in Donsol, Philippines. Every year, from December to May, Whales sharks flock Donsol to feed on planktons. You can actually swim/snorkel with them. My friends told me it is the most awesome thing they experienced, swimming with a "Butanding" (that's what the locals call it.)

NovaBlogger said...

I can imagine that must be one of the more incredible things a diver can experience. Just watching a baby Whale Shark glide past me across 3 feet of glass in the Georgia Aquarium was awe inspiring enough. I can only imagine how it must be to actually swim with one in its own environment. I wish I lived somewhere like the Philippines where I could see incredible sea life right outside my door. Since I can't surf the waves from here, surfing the web will just have to do for now.

noopura said...

hii nice pics..I wanted to u ask that are whale sharks bioluminescent?

noopura said...

hii nice pics..I wanted to u ask that are whale sharks bioluminescent?

NovaBlogger said...

This whale shark does look bioluminescent in the picture doesn't it? Unfortunately that's just the lighting of how the sun is coming through the water that gives it that blue glow.

Anonymous said...

I love learning about sharks but I am crazy scared of them!