How much do Whale Shark weigh

An enormous creature, a whale shark, is by far the largest shark in the world’s oceans and, in fact, the largest of all living fish; the mouth only can reach about 4 feet. In light of this, it is obvious that it would require a huge amount of food every day. Therefore, they travel long distances in search of food and eat mostly plankton.

On average, the whale shark reaches a length of 40 feet; however, the largest one is reported to have a size of approximately 60 feet.

Considering all this, it is quite natural to wonder how much do whale sharks weigh. In case you are wondering about it, keep reading because we are going to find out how much the largest sharks of the oceans weigh. 

It is believed that the whale shark would weigh tons since it is the largest species of shark. While it seems to be apparent, let’s find out the approximate value. But before going into that, let us give a brief overview of the shark species we are going to talk about.

About whale shark

Famous for its large size, the whale shark holds many other distinguishing characteristics, such as the fact that they do not pose a risk to humans in spite of its enormous length. Sharks usually have their mouths on the underside of the rostrum, but the Whale sharks have their mouths on the front of their heads.

Are you aware that the whale shark has its own distinctive design of spots, just like humans have their own unique fingerprints? There are a lot more exciting facts about sharks that you should check out.

In addition to their tiny teeth, whale sharks have spiracles that allow them to continue breathing while remaining stationary.

There are shark species that are required to keep swimming to breathe, though with a few exceptions, and the whale shark is one of them. Read here how do Sharks sleep if they can’t stop swimming?

With that said, the number of whale sharks is declining, and it has been declared an endangered species by IUCN.

Every diver dreams of seeing a whale shark underwater, but not everyone is fortunate. Do you know you can see whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium? So if you want to get a sight, stop by. Also, check out which ocean of the world has the most sharks.

This shows that the whale shark can be kept in captivity, but you need to provide them enough space to swim, considering their size and meet their food requirements. Besides that, there are a few other species that you can own.

Talking about the whale shark’s diet, it has been mentioned earlier that they mainly rely on plankton, including fish eggs, algae, coral spawn, jellies, etc. It is referred to as the filter-feeding shark species. Out of all species, only three are filter-feeders; the other two include the basking shark and the megamouth shark.

In terms of their life expectancy, whale sharks are among the long-lived sea creatures, with a life expectancy of 100 years. However, a few have reported having lived longer than that.

How much does a whale shark weigh?

By now, you may have got an understanding of the whale shark’s physical characteristics; however, we need to look at how much it weighs.

Whale sharks reach an average length of about 60 feet and weigh about 12-15 tons. However, both the length and weight vary among individual whale sharks.

Remember that this weight is approximate because of its size and cartilaginous skeleton. It has a difficult time fossilizing and is difficult to weigh accurately in life. Check out why sharks have no bones.

As for the great white shark, which is considered the most dangerous too, it reaches about 20 feet in length with a weight of around 4,000–5,000 pounds.

Conclusion

The Whale Shark, like many other creatures in the sea, is one of the fascinating animals. At first glance, this gentle giant whale shark looks like it could swallow you whole, but it’s actually quite docile and harmless. They are fearsome creatures in size and appearance, but they are not at all considered dangerous to humans. When fully grown, the whale shark can reach a length of up to 60 feet and weigh up to 30,000 pounds or even more than that.