Animalia > Chordata > Elasmobranchii > Orectolobiformes > Rhincodontidae > Rhincodon > Rhincodon typus

Rhincodon typus (Whale-shark; Basking shark; Tofu sa; Tofu shark; Whale shark; Whaleshark)

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Wikipedia Abstract

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 m (41.5 ft) and a weight of about 21.5 t (47,000 lb). Unconfirmed claims of considerably larger individuals, over 14 m (46 ft) long and weighing at least 30 t (66,000 lb), are not uncommon. The whale shark holds many records for sheer size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the largest living nonmammalian vertebrate. It is the sole member of the genus Rhincodon and the only extant member of the family, Rhincodontidae (called Rhiniodon and Rhinodontidae before 1984), which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. The species originated about 60 million years ago.
View Wikipedia Record: Rhincodon typus

Endangered Species

Status: Endangered
View IUCN Record: Rhincodon typus


Litter Size [2]  300
Maximum Longevity [2]  54 years
Migration [3]  Oceanodromous
Water Biome [1]  Benthic, Coastal
Adult Weight [2]  20.613 tons (18,700.00 kg)
Female Maturity [2]  19 years
Male Maturity [2]  19 years

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Aldabra Special Reserve 86487 Seychelles    
Christmas Island National Park II 21698 Christmas Island, Australia
Everglades and Dry Tortugas Biosphere Reserve   Florida, United States  
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary IV 2387149 Florida, United States

Prey / Diet

Acartia clausi[4]
Pseudeuphausia latifrons[4]
Thunnus albacares (Yellowfin-tuna)[4]


Carcharodon carcharias (Maneater shark)[4]
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)[4]


Parasitized by 
Dermadena lactophrysi[4]
Paronatrema mantae[5]


Aldabra Special Reserve; Admiralty Islands; Agulhas Current; American Samoa; Andaman Island; Andaman Sea; Angola; Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Arabian Sea; Argentina; Aruba; Ascension Island; Atlantic Ocean; Atlantic, Eastern Central; Atlantic, Northeast; Atlantic, Northwest; Atlantic, Southeast; Atlantic, Southwest; Atlantic, Western Central; Atulayan Bay; Australia; Azores Islands; Bahamas; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Barbados; Bay of Bengal; Belize; Benguela Current; Benin; Bermuda; Brazil; Brunei Darussalam; California Current; Cambodia; Cameroon; Canary Current; Canary Islands; Cape Verde; Caribbean Sea; Caroline Island; Cayman Islands; Chagos Islands; Chile; China; Christmas Island (Aust.); Circumglobal in tropical and warm temperate seas. Western Atlantic: New York, USA through the Caribbean to central Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to Gulf of Guinea; St. Paul's Rocks (Ref. 13121). Indian Ocean: throughout the region, including the; Circumglobal in tropical and warm temperate seas. Western Atlantic: New York, USA through the Caribbean to central Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to Gulf of Guinea; St. Paul's Rocks (Ref. 13121). Indian Ocean: throughout the region, including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Western Pacific: Japan to Australia and Hawaii. Eastern Pacific: California, USA to Chile. Identified as one of the species with an unfavorable conservation status in Appendix II of the Bonn Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals in 1999. Classified as a highly migratory species, in Annex I of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (<b>UNCLOS</b>) which called for 'coordinated management and assessment to better understand cumulative impacts of fishing effort on the status of the shared populations' of these sharks (Ref. 26139). Included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (<b>CITES</b>) since May 2003 which regulates international trade of this species. This can partially implement the original objective of the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks). However, international trade still exists.; Clipperton Island; Cocos I. Costa Rica; Colombia; Comoros; Congo, Dem. Rep. of the; Congo, Republic of; Cook Islands; Coral Sea and GBR; Costa Rica; Cuba; Curaçao Island; Côte d'Ivoire; Davao Gulf; Djibouti; Dominica; Dominican Republic; East Brazil Shelf; East China Sea; East Timor; Ecuador; Egypt; El Salvador; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Fiji Islands; French Guiana; French Polynesia; Gabon; Galapagos Islands; Gambia; Ghana; Great Barrier Reef; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guam; Guatemala; Guinea; Guinea Current; Guinea-Bissau; Gulf of Aden; Gulf of Aqaba; Gulf of California; Gulf of Maine; Gulf of Mexico; Gulf of Oman; Gulf of Thailand; Guyana; Haiti; Hawaii (USA); Honduras; Hong Kong; Humboldt Current; India; Indian Ocean; Indian Ocean, Eastern; Indian Ocean, Western; Indonesia; Indonesian Sea; Insular Pacific-Hawaiian; Iran (Islamic Rep. of); Iraq; Israel; Jamaica; Japan; Johnston Island; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati; Korea, Dem. People's Rep; Korea, Republic of; Kuroshio Current; Kuwait; Lagonoy Gulf; Liberia; Macau; Madagascar; Madeira Islands; Malaysia; Maldives; Manila Bay; Marquesas Islands; Marshall Islands; Martinique; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mexico; Micronesia,Fed.States of; Milne Bay; Montserrat; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nauru; Netherlands Antilles; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Niue; North Australian Shelf; North Brazil Shelf; North Marianas; Northeast Australian Shelf; Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf; Northwest Australian Shelf; Oman; Pacific Central-American Coastal; Pacific Ocean; Pacific, Eastern Central; Pacific, Northwest; Pacific, Southeast; Pacific, Southwest; Pacific, Western Central; Pakistan; Palau; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Peng-hu Island; Persian Gulf; Peru; Peru-Galapagos Waters; Philippines; Pitcairn; Polynesian Waters; Puerto Rico; Qatar; Red Sea; Revillagigedo; Rodriguez; Ryukyu Islands; Réunion; Saint Helena; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Paul's Rocks; Saint Vincent & the Grenadines; Samoa; Sao Tomé and Principe; Saudi Arabia; Sea of Japan; Senegal; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Singapore; Sogod Bay; Solomon Islands; Somali Coastal Current; Somalia; South Africa; South Brazil Shelf; South China Sea; Southeast U.S. Continental Shelf; Southwest Chilean Waters; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Sulu-Celebes Sea; Suriname; Tahiti; Taiwan; Tanzania, United Rep. of; Tañon Strait; Thailand; Togo; Tokelau; Tonga; Trinidad and Tobago; Tuamoto Islands; Turks and Caicos Is.; Tuvalu; US Misc. Pacific Is.; US Virgin Islands; USA (contiguous states); United Arab Emirates; Uruguay; Vanuatu; Venezuela; Viet Nam; Virgin Islands (UK); Wake Island; Wallis and Futuna Is.; Yellow Sea; Yemen;

External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Riede, Klaus (2004) Global Register of Migratory Species - from Global to Regional Scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. 330 pages + CD-ROM
4Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
5Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
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