The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a member of the phylum Chordata, a group of animals that includes vertebrates (animals with a backbone) and several invertebrate groups. Chordates are characterized by the presence of a notochord, a flexible rod that runs the length of the body and provides support during development. Other characteristics of chordates include a segmented body, a hollow nerve cord, and gill slits.
The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, reaching lengths of up to 40 feet and weighing up to 47 tons. It is a slow-moving filter feeder, consuming plankton, small fish, and other small marine organisms. Its enormous size is due in part to its ability to filter large volumes of water through its gills, which contain specialized structures called gill rakers that trap small prey.
Despite its size, the whale shark is generally docile and poses no threat to humans. It is found in warm tropical and subtropical waters around the world, typically near the surface and in areas with a high concentration of plankton. The whale shark is considered a vulnerable species, with population numbers declining due to habitat loss, accidental capture in fishing nets, and overfishing of its prey.
Despite its vulnerability, the whale shark is a popular tourist attraction, with many ecotourism operations offering whale shark diving and snorkeling expeditions. These activities can provide important economic benefits to local communities, but it is important to ensure that they are conducted in a sustainable and responsible manner that does not harm the whale sharks or their habitat.
In conclusion, the whale shark is a unique and fascinating member of the phylum Chordata, with a number of unique characteristics that make it a unique and important part of the marine ecosystem. It is important to conserve and protect this species, not only for its intrinsic value but also for the economic and cultural benefits it provides to local communities around the world.
It's integral to wildlife conservation, providing the bedrock for our understanding of sharks. . Environmental Biology of Fishes. Just how big do they get? You might also like: Today's featured page: Table of Contents All About Sharks! Sharks belong to the Phylum Chordata and the Sub-phylum Vertebrata. Each year, just days after the mass spawning of corals on the Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth in March and April, whale sharks appear in the waters along the front of the reef, remaining for up to a month.
Range Worldwide Habitat Sharks live all over the world, from warm, tropical lagoons to polar seas. Surprisingly despite its large size it survives on a diet of plankton, Also unlike other sharks which attack, bite and chew their prey the whale shark consumes its food simply by swimming towards it with its mouth open and sucks up any small prey that it comes into contact with, similar to how a vacuum works. The Whale Shark is a filter feeder, one of only three known filter feeding shark species, the other two being the The shark has many rows of vestigial teeth, which play no role in feeding. It remains an intriguing puzzle why this particular section of the population visits our coast. . This confirmed that whale sharks are ovoviviparous, with their eggs developing inside their body and females giving birth to live, partially developed young. We also discuss the reason for the selection of such diet, and conclude with the different feeding methods whale sharks employ during foraging.
It's no wonder they've gained a reputation for being some of the most impressive and formidable predators on the planet! Imagine the dental bill! A food chain is basically a sequence showing the transfer of nutrients and energy from one organism to another. In fact, they are quite docile and in many parts of the world tourists often safely swim alongside them as they feed on microscopic plankton, their only food item. This shark has a flat head and a wide mouth which can reach nearly 5 ft. Retrieved 14 January 2022. They have a high concentration of salt than water in their bodies and thus only require very little amount of water for sustenance. Cold-blooded animals have a much lower metabolism than warm-blooded animals.
Like other wild animals, most sharks would rather avoid you. What type of covering do Whale Sharks have? Scientists have been able to learn much more about them as a result. Next, primary consumers forming the next tropic level graze and browse directly on the on the primary producers or feed indirectly on them through their by products to obtain the energy and nutrient they produced from creating their own food. Whale Sharks belong to the Kingdom Animalia. There is another factor involved regarding Whale Shark weight and their overall size.
We would like to track, possibly the oldest fish through generations. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Chondrichthyes Order: Orectolobiformes Family: Rhincodontidae Genus: Rhincodon Species: R. They tend to be non-aggressive and often allow themselves to be approached by divers who can gently interact with them without any problems. Reproduction Like other sharks, the reproduction process takes a lot of time. They also feed on phytoplankton such as algae and other plant materials when their primary food items are unavailable.
HABITAT Whale sharks live in warm water near the equator both along the coast and in the open seas. The space between the rings is compared with the rate of growth of whale sharks to determine their age. This process involves water traveling parallel to the filter pad surface, before passing to the outside of the creature. Biologists have speculated that whale sharks feed by literally vacuuming food from the water. In fact while a whale is able to drown underwater a whale shark is able to suffocate above the water due to a lack of lungs or specialized breathing organs that would be necessary to to extract oxygen from the surface air.
In fact the whale shark is the largest The largest known whale shark measured in at just over 40 ft. They feed exclusively or chiefly on minute passively drifting organisms plankton. . Smaller juveniles can eat up to 11,003 g of planktons per day. However, the scales of sharks are small and hard, giving them a smooth-like appearance. WWF is helping to improve whale shark tourism.
For example apes, monkeys and humans belong to the Family Primates. Whale Sharks belong to the class Chondrichthyes. The egg cases of most species are more or less pillow-shaped. . Because of their gentleness and harmlessness, they are often visited by shark divers.
Whale Sharks: Rhincodon typus, statistics and conservation information
After closing its mouth, the shark uses gills rakers that filter the nourishment from the water. The first method is ram filtration, where the animal opens its mouth and swims forward, pushing water and food into the mouth. They also have fins on their tails in their youth. Usually equipped with tendrils for coiling around solid objects or with spikelike projections for anchoring in mud or sand. Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen. Studies on sharks in the wild show similar food intake.