The shark-whale (Rhincodon typus) is a cartilaginous fish, of the family of the sharks. Which could exceptionally reach 20 meters long, for a mass of 34 tons, this shark is considered as the biggest fish living on the world. Its observable size is in practice generally between 4 and 14 meters. Its immense mouth can measure up to two meters wide, and allows it to filter 2 000 tons of water per hour. This shark possesses one very large number of tiny teeth, arranged in 300 rows by jaw. Five pairs of cracks branchiales, very long, besides their respiratory function, serve to filter the water to separate the food from it before the gulp. Its life expectancy is estimated between 100 and 150 years, even if the oldest observed specimen was old about 70 years.
Moving rather slowly, massif, deprived of aggressiveness, this shark is perfectly harmless for the man. Just like the blue whale, his equivalent to the mammals of the maritime megafauna, this giant of seas feeds mainly on plankton, on seaweeds and on microscopic animals, which he absorbs by his wide mouth.
Easily recognizable with the white and dark gray skin in checkerboard, the shark-whale meets in the open seas, as the sea of Cortez, and the tropical and hot oceans. Although there is no precise datum on the total population, this species is considered as in danger.
Where is it ?
Cortez Sea, Baja Californie, Mexique