News from Dudley: Whale sharks

Whale Shark WhaleTimes Courtesy NOAA wbsmHi Kids,

This is one of my friends, a whale shark. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea and, as you can see, also one of the most beautiful. Whale sharks grow to reach 40 feet or more! Maybe as big as 65 feet long! Their average weight is about 40,000 pounds. That’s about the weight of 10 cars!

Its white spots and pale vertical and horizontal stripes make it easy to identify. They have a flattened head with a blunt snout and a giant mouth. According to EVERYTHING SHARKS (National Geographic Kids, 2011) it’s mouth is almost as wide as a car! Wow!

Don’t worry, this gorgeous giant is only interested in eating plankton (tiny plants and animals).

Like many shark species, whale sharks need our help.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists whales sharks as vulnerable mostly due to overfishing.

See you later,

Dudley

PS. Remember to join us for Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice on May 8, 2015 to celebrate sharks!