Whale shark Gavin Meehan

Description

The whale shark also known as Rhincodon typus is a slow moving, filter feeding and the biggest known fish. A whale shark has a wide mouth with around 300 rows of teeth, The shark also has five pairs of gills. A whale sharks head is wide and flat, ad their skin has is grey with varying white spots and stripes. When fully grown whale sharks can grow up to 40 feet long. whale sharks get their food by filtering plankton and small fish fro the water. These huge fish are known as gentle giants making them a very popular tourist attraction around the world.

Location

Whale sharks live in tropical warm temperate seas and primarily stay close to the coast and close to surface in warm water. whale sharks can be found in places like south Africa, western Australia, off the coast of India, in the Philippines, and in Indonesia.

Food Web

If the whale shark were to become extinct and removed from this food web it cold cause the whole thing to collapse. If There were no more whale shark to eat huge amounts of krill, the krill population would grow rapidly creating creating a need for more algae. with the algae population not growing as fast the number will decrease until their are none, and being the base of the food web the whole web would come crashing down.

Threats

Meat, fins, and oil from whale sharks are in high demand on the black market and are of very high value, this posses a great threat to the species drastically cutting down their numbers. Other threats to the species are accidental capture in fishing gear, and tourism plays a threat because if a shark were to get close to a boat the propeller may kill them.

What is Being Done

Experts continue to gather information and study sharks and their habitats. Scientists study these sharks by using satelite tags, sonar devices,and cameras. All the data collected is used to make protections for whale sarks

Why They Matter

The whale shark is the biggest shark and fish in the world. They swim in oceans around the world all alone except for the occasional feeding spree when there is an abundance of plankton all in one area, which also causes tourists to gather. The killing of whale sharks drasticaly changes the income from tourism, and the population of plankton and in total our oceans.

Works Cited

“The Great Barrier Reef Food Chain.” Findpik, findpik.com/img/8260623.

“Hope Emerges for Whale Sharks, Despite New Endangered Status.” National Geographic, edited by Brain Clark Howard, news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/whale-sharks-endangered-species-conservation/.

Nadia, Drake. “Lopped off.” Society for Science and the Public. Science News, www.sciencenews.org/article/lopped.

“Whale Shark.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_shark.

“Whale Shark.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, www.worldwildlife.org/species/whale-shark.

Credits:

Created with images by skeeze - "whale shark slow filter feeder"

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