Whale Shark
Whale shark Georgia aquarium
Rhincodon typus

(A. Smith, 1829)

Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Orectolobiformes
Family Rhincodontidae
Genus Rhincodon
Species • R. typus
Conservation Status
(IUCN 3.1)

The Whale Shark is the largest fish in the world. It is not in fact a whale, but a shark.

It roams in tropical and subtropical areas.


Mentioned before, the Whale Shark is the largest fish in the world, growing up to 50 feet in size.

Other sea creatures like the Giant Squid are larger, but they are invertebrates, and are not true fish.


The Whale Shark is a filter feeder- in fact there are only a few filter feeder sharks like the Whale Shark. It feeds on krill and plankton.

It does also feed on crabs and small fish, which is often demonstrated at the Georgia Aquarium.



Whale Shark

Whale Shark


  • Only two aquariums showcase the Whale Shark. The Georgia Aquarium and the Osaka Aquarium in Japan.
  • A whale shark can weigh as much as 13 tons, the same as two African elephants.

Marine Marine HabitatsAquariumsGlobal OceansOcean Weather
Vertebrate FishesMammalsReptilesAmphibiansCartilaginous FishesSharks
Invertebrate ArthropodMolluscaEchinodermsCnidaria
Conservation Status Critically EndangeredEndangeredNear ThreatenedVulnerableLeast ConcernData DeficientNot Evaluated