Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System
Updated: 06/12/2008  
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    Rhincodon  
Orectolobiformes  -  Rhincodontidae  -  Rhincodon  -  Rhincodon typus

Rhincodon typus

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head wide

mouth short, transverse
 
body: white spots

 
C: semilunar,  base with keel

 

     

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Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828


Whale shark


Robust body; snout very short and broad; eye small, round; mouth wide, transverse, a little behind tip of snout; five long gill slits, last three over pectoral fin; two dorsal fins, first over pelvics, second and smaller fin over anal;  tail fin almost symmetrical, with large lower lobe; tail base flattened, with large keel that continues forward as crest along body and over gill slits, with two more crests above along body.


Dark, with prominent white spots.



Size: 12 m (old visual records to 21 m).

Habitat: pelagic in nearshore and offshore waters.

Depth: 0-240 m.

This species is distributed worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas, including throughout the eastern Pacific.

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