How Much do Whale Shark Weigh

Whale sharks are giant creatures living under the water.  Being enormous creatures, it is obvious that they need a large amount of food to maintain their weight. If you are curious to find the approximate weight of the Whale sharks then scroll down and continue reading the article.

But before going into the detailed analysis regarding the weight of Whale sharks, first of all, let us introduce Whale sharks to you – who they are?

What Are Whale Sharks?

Though the giant creatures of the sharks’ epoch are called Whale sharks surprisingly they are not whales, they are sharks. They are named Whale sharks because of their enormous size – comparable to whales and share many defining features that resemble sharks such as they have skeletons made up of cartilage, 

Whale sharks live in tropical waters and prefer a water temperature of about 21oC. They are greyish to brownish colored with white spots and pale horizontal and vertical stripes, blunt snout located over the large mouth, protruding barbels, and 8 pairs of fins that help them to swim with agility and high speed throughout the extended ocean.

How Much Does A Whale Shark Weigh?

Whale sharks are known to be the heaviest shark thriving in ocean waters. According to an estimate, the average weight of Whale sharks is 20,000 pounds or 9 tonnes. But the largest known specimen of the Whale shark collected by researchers can weigh about 47,000 pounds or 21.5 tonnes.

What Is The Maximum Length Of A Whale Shark?

Whale sharks are not only the largest and heaviest creature in the ocean’s waters but also it is the largest species among non-mammalian animals. Well, Whale sharks normally reach a length of 18 to 32.8 feet or 5.5 to 10 meters but the largest specimen of the Whale shark can grow to about 40 feet or 12 meters in length. There are some reports that a few giant species of Whale sharks might grow up to 60 feet, but no such sighting has been reported for a long time.

What Do Whale Sharks Eat?

Whale sharks are categorized as omnivorous species which feed on both animals the giant creatures are also bottom dwellers and include a wide variety of plankton in their diet. Other than that, the sharks include algae, shrimps, sardines, mackerels, anchovies, tuna, albacore, squids, crabs, krill, lobsters, and octopus in their menu card. The sharks conserve 30 % of their body energy to swim deep into the ocean in the search of food.

Are There Any Species Heavier Than Whale Sharks?

Whale sharks are known to be giant creatures of the ocean but not the largest animals on the planet Earth. The Blue whale is considered the largest and heaviest animal in the oceanic world. The studies suggested that the Blue Whales can reach a maximum length of 100 feet and weigh more than 2, 50,000 pounds. So you can say that Blue whales are not only giant but are also heavier than Whale sharks.


Whale sharks are known to be the heaviest species of shark living in the oceans. The average weight of Whale sharks is 20,000 pounds or 9 tonnes. But the most significant known specimen can weigh about 47,000 pounds or 21.5 tonnes. These species are bottom dwellers and include mostly plankton in their diet. Moreover, it was believed that Whale sharks could be the heaviest species among all the animals on Earth but that’s not true, Blue whales are living legends that are not only larger but are also heavier than Whale sharks.

About the author


I am a Scholar and a dedicated content writer. I am on a mission to stamp out the importance of one of the ocean's most fascinating and remarkable creatures, the sharks, and to let people know about their role in keeping the ecosystem in equilibrium.