The whale shark Rhincodon typus is the largest known extant fish species in the world, they can grow up to ¡18 meters! (60ft) They have a beautiful pattern of lines and spots on their skin which are unique to each individual, like a finger print. ¡Amazing!
Whale sharks come to Mexico to feed on plankton that bloom when deep, cool, nutrient rich waters mix with shallow waters of the Caribbean sea warmed by the sunlight.
Fun Facts about whale shark:
- Highly migratory within tropical waters.
- Sensitive to touch even when their skin can be 10cms (4”) thick.
- Often dives more than 1700meters (5600 ft)
- Has an amazing ability to heal.
Whale shark are listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature´s Red List of threatened species and are of growing popularity as both a target of ecotourism and as charismatic conservation ambassador for the pelagic ecosystem.
Each year thousands of people get the opportunity of swimming with these gentle giants, which brings a massive benefit to the local economy. It´s important to know the rules for swimming with the whale sharks, to protect them in the areas where the encounter takes place. Do not forget that we are guests in the sea and we have to respect their inhabitants.
- Ted Talks