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  • It's the size of a whale but it's actually the world's largest fish! I'm Jonathan Bird

  • and this is shark academy!

  • Well as shark experts of course you all know that sharks are fish. The whale shark is not

  • only the world's largest sharkit's the world's largest fish, and it's called a whale

  • shark because it's the size of a whale. It's not a whale. It's not related to whales. Whales

  • breath air. They are mammals. Sharks are fish. So the whale shark is a fish the size of a

  • whale.

  • The whale shark is really big! We're talking: they reach fifty feet long. That's the length

  • of two school buses end to end. So this is a very very large fish. How does it get so

  • big? Well, it eats a lot. But you might be surprised what it eats. Whale sharks survive

  • almost exclusively on plankton and small fish. A whale shark feeds by swimming through the

  • water with its mouth wide open, scooping in vast quantities of water. The water goes into

  • the back of the throat and it goes back out through the gills. But on the gills are little

  • combs called gill rakers and they're filters. What happens is the plankton gets stuck in

  • the filters when the water goes through and then every once in a while the shark closes

  • his mouth and swallows all the plankton down. So the whale shark is completely harmless

  • to people, even if a person went into its mouth, it wouldn't be able to swallow you

  • because it only has a throat about this big. The throat is designed for swallowing small

  • things, little fish, plankton, not people. Completely harmless to people.

  • The only way a whale shark could hurt you is if someone dropped one on you, or maybe

  • if it hit you with its tail. But I don't know anybody stupid enough to get hit with the

  • tail of a whale shark.

  • One of the most interesting characteristics of the whale shark is its skin pattern. It

  • has sort of a polka-dotted stripey pattern that almost looks like dominoes. In fact in

  • some countries they're called the Domino shark. Nobody's quite sure what this coloration pattern

  • is for, the best guess is that it helps with that dappling of light near the surface, it

  • almost helps create a sort of camouflage on their back. But why would they need camouflage,

  • are they sneaking up on the plankton? Nobody really knows.

  • So since the whale shark is so humongous, you would expect that it would have a pretty

  • large babies. Actually it doesn't. The pups are born only about a foot long. Because they're

  • so small the female can give birth to over three hundred pups at a time. A female whale

  • shark can't produce babies until she's thirty years old, so it takes a long time for all

  • those pups to grow up. So even though the whale shark has a lot of pups, they're still

  • vulnerable to over-fishing.

  • If you want to learn more about whale sharks, check out the link below, my adventure filming

  • whale sharks in Mexico! If you're on Facebook or Twitter check out the links right here,

  • become a fan, we'd love to hear from you. And if you want to tell us something about

  • sharks or make a request, leave a comment down below. Of course if you haven't subscribed

  • yet, dude what are you doing? Hit the subscribe button! Until next time, I'm Jonathan Bird

  • and this is Shark Academy!

It's the size of a whale but it's actually the world's largest fish! I'm Jonathan Bird

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Shark Academy: Whale Sharks

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    大菲鴨阿 posted on 2015/01/24
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