The whale shark (Rhincodon typus)

Terry Bailey

Joined January 2011

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The whale shark (Rhincodon typus), is filter feeding shark and is considered the largest fish usually up lengths of 12.65 metres (41.50 ft) and weights in excess of 21.5 tonnes (47,000 lb). The Rhincodon typus is the sole member of the genus Rhincodon and the family, Rhincodontidae (called Rhiniodon and Rhinodontidae before 1984), which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes originated approximately 60 million years ago.
The Rhincodon typus is found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea with a lifespan of about 70 years.
Rhincodon typus generally feed on plankton and microscopic plants, however, research shows that small fish are sometimes preyed on including mass feeding fish shoals.

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