Subject: Re: Whale shark

Dagmar_Fertl@smtp.mms.gov
Mon, 30 Sep 96 12:30:31 EST

     Dear Jack,
     
     Thanks for your question about whale sharks.  This animal is actually 
     the largest living *fish* (the blue whale is the largest living whale 
     and mammal).  The whale shark probably got its name for its large 
     size.  We know that whale sharks range in size from 30-40 ft, with a 
     maximum length of 60 ft.  The whale shark has a huge flat head with 
     wide mouth and unique filter system for feeding. Thankfully (unless 
     you are plankon), this huge fish is a plankton feeder.  It has been 
     known, however, to eat fishes as big as small tuna.  Whale sharks are 
     found world-wide in temperate and tropical waters; in the western 
     Atlantic from New York though the Caribbean to Brazil.  The whale 
     shark gives birth to live young.
     
     Divers really like whale sharks a lot.  The whale shark is not 
     aggressive, and can be approached by divers and swimmers for a quick 
     visit.
     
 
 
 
 ______________________________ Reply Separator 
 _________________________________
 Subject: whale question
 Author:  Jack Regan <jmcregan@capecod.net> at ~smtp
 Date:    9/30/96 11:16 AM
 
 
 Dr. Fertl,
 One of my students would like to know some information on the whale shark .We 
 have seen the "Voyage of the Mimi" and are studying whales and hope to ask many 
 questions of you this year.
 Respectfully,
 Jack Regan