Family name : Rhincodotidae (called Rhinodontes before 1984)
Order name : Orectoloboformes
Common name : Whale shark
Scientific name : Rhincodon typus

The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow filter feeding shark that is the largest living fish species. The shark is found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea. The species is believed to have originated about 60 million years ago.

The whale shark is a the biggest shark and the biggest fish. It is NOT a whale. It has a huge mouth which can be up to 4 feet (1.4 m) wide. Its mouth is at the very front of its head (not on the underside of the head like in most sharks). It has a wide, flat head, a rounded snout, small eyes, 5 very large gill slits, 2 dorsal fins (on its back) and 2 pectoral fins (on its sides). The spiracle (a vestigial first gill slit used for breathing when the shark is resting on the sea floor) is located just behind the shark's eye. Its tail has a top fin much larger than the lower fin.

The whale shark has distinctive light-yellow markings (random stripes and dots) on its very thick dark gray skin. Its skin is up to 4 inches (10 cm) thick. There are three prominent ridges running along each side of the shark's body.

This enormous shark is a filter feeder and sieves enormous amounts of plankton to eat through its gills as it swims.

Foods for the whale sharks
Whale shark live on plankton and nearby invisible tiny living creatures, floating in the sea water. Whale sharks swim and open their mouths for water and plankton to run and strain them from the sea through modified gill rakers and release water through the gill slits on the side of the body. Whale sharks are thus known as harmless fish - - not hazardous to neitherman nor fish school around them.

Whale Sharks In Thailand: Where To See Them
One of the great things of diving from Phuket is the possibility of whale sharks. These great creatures can be seen not only around Phuket and Phi Phi by day trip but also in the Similans islands and the southern dive sites of Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. In fact, these last two dive sites have probably given divers the greatest chance of whale shark encounters in recent times. Although they can be discovered all year round the most likely time to see one is during the months of February to April when plankton blooms tend to occur. However, bear in mind that, as with all wild creatures, nothing can be guaranteed. It is just a question of being in the right place at the right time. Just ask the Open Water student who recently saw one on only his third open water dive!

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1 ความคิดเห็น

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