Whale Shark Facts for Kids

A Picture of a Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)
  • 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

  1. The binomial name for a whale shark is Rhincodon typus.
  2. Whale sharks have a flattened head and a blunt snout right above their mouth.
  3. The whale shark can reach an average length of 32 feet.
  4. The whale shark can reach an average weight of 20,000 pounds.
  5. There are reports of whale sharks that have exceeded 59 feet in length.
  6. Whale sharks have around 3,000 teeth that are less than an inch long.
  7. Whale sharks are the largest living fish species.
  8. The whale shark is a filter feeder and is a carnivore.
  9. A whale shark’s diet includes plankton, copepods, krill, fish eggs, crab larvae, small squid and fish.
  10. It’s estimated that whale sharks have a lifespan between 70 and 100 years.
  11. Whale sharks process almost 800 gallons of water through their gills an hour.
  12. Whale sharks can swim about three miles per hour.
  13. The IUCN conservation status for the whale shark is endangered.

Additional Resources on Whale Sharks