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12 Interesting Whale Shark Facts For Kids 2022

The life under the water is you can find beautiful and different kinds of fish. These animals are fascinating to know about and fantastic to understand their life. Do you know that the whale shark is one of the largest fishes in the world and weighs around 20 tons?

These creatures are extremely intelligent and fascinating, and there is still so much that humans don’t know about them! In this article, we’re going to walk you through a list of facts about whale sharks that you can take to school and share with your friends. 

Whale Shark Facts For Kids

Let’s get to know some cool whale shark facts and learn something about this huge marine animal.

12 Fun Facts About Whale Sharks

They are the largest fish in the world.

largest fish in the world

Whale sharks are the largest fish in the whole world. They look like sharks but have big mouths to catch all the food. The whale shark is dark gray on top, and light gray underneath, with many dots and horizontal and vertical stripes on the top of these fish. Whale sharks can also be found in brown and blue colors with dark colors on top and light colors underneath them. They have smooth skin, and their color helps them to hide from all their enemies and predators. 

They are long and heavy.

They are long and heavy

Whale sharks are enormous, which makes them the world’s largest fish. They are 39 to 49 feet long, but some can be 59 feet long. Their enormous mouths are about 5 feet wide to have all that tasty food. They can weigh around 20 tons or 20,000 pounds. Whale sharks have about 3000 teeth. All those teeth are tiny, less than one inch long.

Habitat and range

Whale sharks swim in shallow depths but can also be found 6000 feet below the water surface. They do not like cold water. They are usually spotted around warm oceans. They can be found in the oceans that are near South Africa, India, Indonesia, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, the Philippines, and Western Australia.

They are carnivores but are not predators.

carnivores but are not predators

Whale sharks like to feed on small fishes, plankton, and squid. They are not predatory. Whale sharks can eat fish eggs, krill, and red crab larvae. They can eat around 46 lbs of plankton in one day. Plankton is a tiny organism that lives underwater.

Whale sharks like to travel.

Whale sharks like to travel

 Whale sharks love to roam around. That’s why they often bump into boats. In the summers, they often lurk around the Galapagos Islands and Yucatan Peninsula. Scientists say a whale shark can travel around 8000 miles in three years. They only travel in tropical and subtropical places.

Whale sharks have different styles of eating food.

 They are filter feeders, meaning they eat food by going towards their prey with an open mouth. Then, they eat the small fish or plankton that get stuck in their mouths, and just like that, they’ve eaten enough food. Whale sharks have around 300 rows of teeth and a total of 3000 teeth, but whale sharks don’t use their teeth to chew, as they prefer to gulp their food instead. 

Female whale sharks are enormous.

Female whale sharks are enormous

 How can one make a difference between a male and a female shark? You can differentiate between them by their sizes. Female whale sharks are larger than male whale sharks. Female sharks also grow slowly but get huge faster than male whale sharks.

Whale sharks are friendly. 

 Unlike other sharks, whale sharks are friendly. They are timid and gentle. People like to dive and swim with these whale sharks. Trips with whale sharks are trendy in Australia, the Philippines, Honduras, and Mexico.

Whale sharks have impaired sight.

Whale sharks have two eyes that are located behind their mouth, making it hard for them to see their food before they eat it. This is why they eat with their mouths wide open! While researchers don’t have enough data to share with the world, they have discovered that these creatures have sensors along their bodies. Since they have poor eyesight, these sensors help them detect when there is a pressure change in the water and when other sea creatures approach them. In other words, the sensor works a bit like a camera! 

Whale sharks swim slowly and prefer solitude. 

Whale sharks swim slowly and prefer solitude

Even though whale sharks are giant, they swim slowly. Whale sharks can swim at the speed of three miles per hour. They cover thousands of miles at a slow speed of three miles per hour. Whale sharks enjoy their alone time. They do not like being in groups and mostly travel without other sharks. 

Whale sharks give birth to a lot of babies. 

Whale sharks are enormous fish, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that female whale sharks can carry hundreds of eggs at a time. Researchers once found a pregnant whale shark that carried around 300 eggs! However, it’s important to note that even though these creatures carry eggs in their bodies, they give birth to live sharks. 

Whale sharks use their gills for different bodily functions. 

Whale sharks use their gills for different bodily functions

As mentioned above, whale sharks consume their food by simply opening their mouth and drawing creatures in. However, water also enters their bodies simultaneously. Therefore, you might wonder how they remove excess water from their bodies. They expel the excess water from their bodies through gill slits. Their gills help them breathe, providing their bodies with the oxygen they need to survive. Since their gills help them breathe, they do not have to go to the ocean’s surface to breathe as whales and dolphins do. 

Conclusion 

We do not have all the information about whale sharks, but you know enough to be a junior whale specialist. The oceans are a great mystery. A lot of information about animals and plants, etc., is not revealed yet. A lot of information about whale sharks is not known to humans. How do they communicate? What is their proper weight and size?  

Now you know many exciting facts about these substantial marine animals and their calm and mysterious life. Whale sharks’ lives are filled with traveling and a lot of food. They are endangered animals, so many people are keen to save them, as every animal is essential for the ecosystem. They live extraordinary lives, and various studies about them are happening so we can know more fascinating facts about whale sharks.

Interesting facts like this help us learn about these creatures living rather strange lives. Visit our website to learn more about amazing marine animals.