Whale shark

Whale shark

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Whale shark (Rhincodon typus). Underside of a whale shark, surrounded by smaller fish. The whale shark is the world's largest fish, reaching an average length of 8 metres. It is harmless to humans, living off plankton, invertebrates and other small organisms and rarely travelling faster than 5 kilometres per hour. It uses specially adapted gill arches to filter the water, removing anything edible. Its 1.5 metre diameter mouth can circulate up to 6000 litres of water an hour. It is a tropical fish and its upper age limit has been estimated at between 60 and 150 years. This shark was photographed in the Indian Ocean.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, bottom, cartilaginous fish, fauna, fish, fishes, indian ocean, marine, nature, rhincodon typus, shark, shoal, swimming, underside, underwater, whale shark, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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