Monday, 9 March 2015

Creature 160: Rhincodon typus

There is not always a bigger fish

Rhincodon typus is the largest living shark, and the largest animal that is not a whale.

They can grow over 12 m long and it has an enormous mouth, but on average are probably only around 10 m long. Their mouth can be 1.5 m wide and contains 300 to 350 rows of teeth. Despite this, the whale shark feed mostly on microscopic plankton and krill, which they harvest with 10 filter pads in their mouth. They swim along with their  mouth open filtering small organic material out of the water and digesting it.

Whale sharks are found in all the worlds oceans.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Orectolobiformes
Family: Rhincodontidae
Genus: Rhincodon 
Species: Rhincodon typus

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