Q:

How much does a whale shark weigh?

A:

Quick Answer

According to National Geographic, whale sharks reach weights of 42,000 pounds or more. As the largest fish in the sea, the warm-water creatures have been measured at 40 feet but potentially grow even larger.

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Full Answer

Despite their massive size, these docile beasts are not a threat to humans. Whale sharks are filter-feeders, swimming close to the water surface with their mouths agape to feed on plankton, krill and small fish species. Once the water is sucked in through the mouth, it is filtered through the large gills, which act like strainers to catch the tiny bits of food that are needed for sustenance.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where is the whale shark in the food chain?

    A:

    Whale sharks live in the open ocean where they feed on plankton, schooling fishes, jellyfish, small crustaceans and squid. Whale sharks up to approximately 3 feet in length are eaten by blue marlin, blue sharks, great white sharks and killer whales.

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  • Q:

    Is a whale shark a mammal?

    A:

    Whale sharks are fish, not mammals. According to an article by Jennifer Kennedy on About.com, the whale sharks are the largest fish in the world. They grow as long as 65 feet and weigh up to 75,000 pounds. Female whale sharks are generally larger than males.

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  • Q:

    Is a stingray a shark?

    A:

    A stingray is not a shark, but the two are closely related. They belong to the same group of fishes called elasmobranchs, members of the group Elasmobranchii, a subclass of Chondrichthyes, which also includes skates.

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  • Q:

    What are shark predators?

    A:

    Sharks are apex predators that have no natural enemies; however, humans are predators of sharks, with an estimated 30 to 100 million sharks are killed every year by fisherman. This has caused many species of sharks to become vulnerable to endangerment.

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