How Big Is the Whale Shark

How Big Is the Whale Shark?

A whale shark is the largest among all the shark species. It is also the largest among the fish species. Due to its size, the whale shark usually swims in open waters of the tropical oceans and rarely found in water below 70 °F (21 °C). If this is so, then how big is the whale shark?

Is the whale shark really that big? Well, the whale shark is not only the largest among fish species, it is also the largest among non-mammalian animals. Scientists observed that whale sharks can be up to 40 feet or longer. The whale shark is so big that at times it is hard for them to eat.

This shark species sometimes finds it hard to carry their body. We’ll therefore discuss the fascinating facts about the size of the whale shark in the following subheadings.

What Is the Size of a Full-Grown Whale Shark?

The whale sharks can weigh up to 20.6 tons. They can also grow up to 40 feet (12 meters long). This is the highest statistic for any fish.

In the fish species, the largest fish is the whale shark. They are very big in size, weight and all around.

How big is a whale shark in feet?

A whale shark can be able to grow up to 40 feet (12 meters) long. On average, a whale shark can grow up to 18 to 32.8 feet (5.5 to 10m).

The only sea creatures that can come close to this measurement is the blue whale. Thus, the blue whale almost has the same measurement as the whale sharks. However, they are not fishes, but mammals.

How Heavy Can the Whale Shark Be?

It is likely impossible to capture a whale shark and weigh it to know how heavy it is. Although it might seem impossible, an estimate can be done.

Some researchers have been able to weigh some whale sharks.

One of the sharks weighed which seemed to be the heaviest weighed 39.7 tons (36,000 kg). That is quite a number.

You can liken the weight of this shark to the weight of a big school bus. That is to say, the whale shark was really heavy.

Which is Bigger, the Whale shark or the Megalodon?

The whale shark is said to be the largest shark. Even at that, there was a species of shark believed to be bigger than the whale shark.

That species was the Megalodon. On average, the megalodon measured about 12.65 meters or 41.50 feet in length. This was greater than the size of the largest whale shark.

Overall, the megalodon is bigger than the whale shark both in weight and length.

Although, this measurement can vary also. Some researchers proved that the whale shark may be bigger in some cases.

Some reports showed that whale sharks can reach up to 59 feet (18 m) in length. This is bigger than the average megalodon. Thus, in this case, the whale shark is bigger than some of the megalodon specimens. Though their measurement is almost the same.

This report is rare, however, and may lack accuracy. In all, the megalodon is now extinct, this makes the whale shark the biggest extant shark species.

How Big Is A Newborn Whale Shark?

The newborn whale sharks are about 16 to 24 inches in length at birth. The baby whale shark is not so little even when they are born.

Of course, they are the largest species of sharks in the ocean today.

Which Is Bigger, the Whale Shark, or the Blue Whale?

The blue whale and the whale shark are different categories of sea animals.

This is so because, the blue whale is a mammal, while the whale shark is a fish.

The whale shark has the position as the largest non-mammal. Meanwhile, the blue whale is the largest living mammal.

But this is not about who rules his category. Hence, when compared directly the blue whale is simply bigger than the whale shark.

While whale sharks will reach 40 feet (12 m) in length, the blue whale reaches astonishingly 100 feet (30 m) in length. They also weigh more than the whale shark.

In fact, the largest living animal on the planet today is the whale shark. However, the whale shark still maintains its title as the largest living non-mammal.

How Big Is the Largest Whale Shark?

Research has been made and it was recorded that the largest whale shark weighed 39.7 tons (36,000 kg).

One interesting fact about the whale shark is that it can open its mouth about 1.36 meters wide.

The largest accurately measured whale shark was 61.7 feet (18.8m).

This species of shark is known to have a very big body mass.

Is There Anything Bigger Than A Whale Shark?

The whale shark is the largest fish species. However, it is not the largest animal in existence.

The BLUE WHALE is considered the largest of all animal species. Thus, this sea animal is even larger than the whale shark.

The blue whale is not among the fish species. It is more like dolphins and classified as mammals.

The blue whale would reach about 100 feet in length and over 250,000 pounds in weight. This is way bigger than the size of the largest whale shark.

Hence, you can comfortably say that the blue whale is bigger than the whale shark.

How Big Is the Whale Sharks Throat?

The whale shark being a large animal might be expected to have a large throat. But actually, their throat is not even big at all.

The whale sharks have a big and wide mouth but it has a very small throat. Its throat cannot really contain a big prey.

These sharks being filter feeders do not have a need for big throats because they don’t consume large prey.

How Big Is the Stomach of a Whale Shark?

The whale shark does not have a big stomach. They don’t feed on large prey, instead, they just eat planktons and fish eggs.

Their foods are not large, hence no need for a big stomach. The stomach of the whale shark has been made in a way that it cannot contain big prey. It is only the mouth that is wide.

If peradventure, it swallows something big, it will spit it out. This is because the stomach cannot contain it.

How Wide Can A Whale Shark Open Its Mouth?

The whale shark has quite a big mouth. They open their mouths to allow water come in, and in the process, feed on planktons and tiny fishes.

The whale sharks can open its mouth as wide as 5 feet. They have about 300 teeth rows positioned on each jaw. Their teeth are tiny and pointed backward.

This shark opens its mouth wide either to gather food or to swallow water. Though whale sharks have a wide mouth, they do not use it to swallow big animals.

What Does the Whale Shark Eat That Makes Them So Big?

One can imagine what the whale sharks’ diet is. Even at birth, the baby sharks are already big. The whale sharks are not heavy eaters. They are not gruesome eaters. They hardly even eat.

When they eventually eat, they just eat planktons, tiny fish, and fish eggs. It is, therefore, safe to say that the size of whale sharks is natural.

Though they are big and people seem to fear them, these creatures are not troublesome.

In fact, whale sharks are called gentle giants. You know this shark species is always on its own, hence, the name.

They just eat their planktons, stay on their own and swim around the ocean.

I can say personally, the size of the whale shark has nothing to do with their food. They have just been created to be the world’s largest fish species.

How Big Is A Whale Shark Compared to Human?

On average, the whale shark is so much bigger than a human. Although an average human may be bigger than a baby whale shark, the size of an adult human cannot compare to the massive size of an adult whale shark.

Both in length and in weight, the adult whale shark is bigger than any human size. Of course, this is the largest fish species.

On numbers, the average human may reach 5.6 feet (1.7 m), while an average whale shark will reach about 26 to 30 feet (8 to 9 meters). So, a whale shark is greatly bigger than humans.

Does the Whale Shark Ever Shed Weight?

The whale shark even as it is big can lose weight. Surely, every animal can lose weight when they don’t eat or when malnourished.

If the whale shark is unable to eat their foods, there is a possibility that they would lose weight. So, even as they are big, they can always reduce in size.

This reduction can be rare because there will always be food in the oceans for the sharks to eat.

Even if there is no food for them, the sharks are very adaptive species. They will be able to adapt to it as soon as possible.

In Conclusion

The whale shark is the largest extant shark species and also the largest non-mammal species. However, it is still not the largest existing animal.

This page covers the comparison between whale sharks and other species that people frequently ask about. Thus, providing an answer to the question, “how big is the whale shark?”