Whale Shark

Walter Colvin

Showlow, United States

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3d art render of Whale Shark. Three Remoras attached to the underside.

Made With Bryce 3d.

Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world. Despite the name, it is not a whale. Because of its size, it is impossible to weigh accurately. Newborns have been found measuring 21-25 inches, and the largest accurately measured whale shark was 40 feet, 7 inches, although there were reports of a 60-foot whale shark in 1925.

It can be recognized by the two-toned pattern of light spots on its dark back and white underside. Unlike most shark species, the mouths of whale sharks are located at the front of their heads instead of the underside of their snouts. They have a huge mouth, which can reach up to four feet across. There are 300 rows of tiny teeth along the inner surface of the jaw, just inside the lips. They feed on planktonic and nektonic prey, such as fish, small crustaceans and squid that they strain from the water through their gills.

Remoras or suckerfish are elongate brown fish in order Perciformes and family Echeneidae.12 They grow up to 30–90 centimetres long (1–3 ft), and their distinctive first dorsal fin takes the form of a modified oval sucker-like organ with slat-like structures that open and close to create suction and take a firm hold against the skin of larger marine animals. By sliding backward, the remora can increase the suction, or it can release itself by swimming forward. Remoras sometimes attach themselves to small boats. They also swim well on their own, with a sinuous motion.

Artwork Comments

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