What is the Biggest Fish in the World?

by admin on June 26, 2008

The biggest fish in the world is the Whale Shark. Reports vary wildly about its size, but they are 14 to 20 meters long and weigh between 9 and 21 tonnes. The Whale shark is not dangerous to humans, and is in fact, known to be curious and at times playful with divers. They are a somewhat elusive creature, so exact numbers of animals are hard to come by, but they are considered to be a Vulnerable species according to the IUCN.

Whale sharks can be found in the tropical waters of the equatorial regions up to 30 degrees north and south of the equator.  They are known for their distinctive markings; they are grey on top, white on the bottom with a pattern of pale yellow stripes and spots. No two sharks have the exact same markings, so conservationists are able to track individual animals by their distinctive patterns. As with their size, reports vary about the Whale shark’s life span, but it would be safe to say that they live between 70 to 100 years and reach sexual maturity at 30. They are loners, and are seldom seen in groups except when near an abundant food source. Whale sharks are filter feeders, with a diet of krill, algae, and small squid.

Of particular interest is how they reproduce. As with other fish species, Whale shark “pups” gestate in eggs, but those eggs are contained within the mother’s body until she gives live birth to an estimated 300 babies, each 40 to 60 cm long.

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