Whale Shark Fact Sheet
Tail of the Tape. A few factoids about the Whale Shark
The Whale shark is the planet’s largest fish.
Whale sharks can grow to a length of 18m (60ft) or more and weigh up to 34 tonnes (5 times the weight of a big elephant).
Whale shark skin is both striped and spotted. No two sharks have the same colour pattern
The Whale Shark is the only member of its genus Rhincodon and its family, Rhincodontidae
In Asia, Whale Sharks are known as Tofu Sharks because of the taste and texture
The Whale Shark is often called the: basking shark, the Shalaam Waan (Thai), requin baleine and chagrin (French), pez dama (Spanish) and the tuko (Tagalog).
Whale shark are found in all tropical and warm oceans and are pelagic for most of their lives.
They are filter feeders. They have capacious mouthes which can be up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wide and can contain between 300 and 350 rows of tiny teeth.
A Whale shark has five large pairs of gills. Two small eyes are located towards the front of the shark's wide, flat head method of clearing a build up of food particles in the gill