Whale Shark Facts
- Name: Whale Shark
- Binomial Name: Rhincodon typus
- Lifespan: 70 years (model)
- Diet: Carnivorous
- Length: 32 feet (average)
- Weight: 20,000 pounds (average)
13 Whale Shark Facts for Kids
- The binomial name for a whale shark is Rhincodon typus.
- Whale sharks have a flattened head and a blunt snout right above their mouth.
- The whale shark can reach an average length of 32 feet.
- The whale shark can reach an average weight of 20,000 pounds.
- There are reports of whale sharks that have exceeded 59 feet in length.
- Whale sharks have around 3,000 teeth that are less than an inch long.
- Whale sharks are the largest living fish species.
- The whale shark is a filter feeder and is a carnivore.
- A whale shark’s diet includes plankton, copepods, krill, fish eggs, crab larvae, small squid and fish.
- It’s estimated that whale sharks have a lifespan between 70 and 100 years.
- Whale sharks process almost 800 gallons of water through their gills an hour.
- Whale sharks can swim about three miles per hour.
- The IUCN conservation status for the whale shark is endangered.
Whale Shark Pictures
A picture of a whake shark.
Credit: World Wild Life
A close-up photo of a whale shark.
Credit: Brian J. Skerry / Net Geo Images
A photo of a whale shark breaching.
Credit: Peter Guest
Additional Resources on Whale Sharks
- Whale Shark – World Wild Life – Discover more whale shark facts on the World Wild Life website.
- Whale Shark – Wikipedia – Learn more about the Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) on the Wikipedia website.
- Facts About Whale Sharks | Live Science – Explore more whale shark facts on the LiveScience website.