Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life of Whale Shark

Life of Sea | Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) | Whale Shark lives in all tropical and warm temperate seas. During the day, they spend most of their time feeding near the surface, preferring sea surface temperatures around 21-30 °C, they often go deep at night and when traveling, reaching depths of more than 700 m.  Whale Shark has a wide distribution and live in the hot waters at ± 30-40 degrees latitude (the Equator), so even though in the Mediterranean Sea Whale Shark can still be found. It occurs throughout the Atlantic Ocean, from New York through the Caribbean to central Brazil and from Senegal to the Gulf of Guinea. It also Occurs in the Indian Ocean, throughout the region, including the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. In the Pacific Ocean it is found from Japan to Australia, off Hawaii, and from California to Chile.

In the world, whale shark can be found at Gladden Spit in Belize; Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia; Utila in Honduras; Donsol, Pasacao and Batangas in the Philippines; off Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox in Yucatan Mexico. Whale Shark in Indonesia have been found in Ujung Kulon National Park, Sabang NAD, Sidoarjo and Madura Strait; Nosy Be in Madagascar, Off Reef Tofo in Mozambique, and the Tanzanian is in the Mafia, Pemba and Zanzibar.

Whale Sharks are the biggest sharks in the ocean. They are not whales nor are they dangerous to humans (like nearly all sharks). They have a distinctively wide mouth at the very front of their head (rather than on the underside like most sharks). They have wide, flat heads, rounded snouts, small eyes, 5 very large gill slits, 2 dorsal fins and 2 pectoral fins. The spiracle (a vestigial first gill slit used for breathing when the shark is resting on the sea floor) is located just behind the shark's eye. Its tail has a top fin only slightly larger than the lower fin. 

Whale shark has distinctive light-yellow or white markings (random stripes and dots) on its very thick dark gray skin. Its skin is up to 10 cm thick. There are three prominent ridges running along each side of the shark's body. Whale sharks measure up to 20  m long and weigh up to 34,000 kg. Most individuals encountered are between 6-12 m long. Like most sharks, the females are larger than males. Whale Shark is a filter feeder, or filter out the food is very small through very large gills by opening his mouth wide when swimming and can reach 1500 gallons (6000 liters) of water that can disaringnya. The food is plankton, krill, small fish and squid.

Shark whales unlike most other sharks that are fast swimmers, whale shark is a shark that slow movement speed does not exceed 5 km per hour. This is because the style of whale shark swim by moving the entire body, unlike most sharks are just moving the tail to move. Whale Shark can dive to depths of 700 meters. Whale shark is not dangerous for divers. Even in some places of the world's whale shark used as an object such as the Bay Islands in Honduras, Thailand, Philippine, Maldives, Red Sea, Western Australia (Ningaloo Reef, Christmas Island), Belize, Tofo Beach, Mozambique, Sodwana Bay (Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park) South Africa, Galapagos Islands, Mexico, Seychelles, West Malaysian, Sri Lanka and Puerto Rico. people troop to swim and dive in addition to Whale shark.

Whale shark is ovoviviparous animals, which gave birth to her little baby measures 60 cm. Whale sharks reach maturity at the age of 30 years and at the age of the whale shark has been able to reproduce. Whale sharks can reach the age of 100-150 years. Whale Shark is the target of commercial fisheries in bebepa place. At hongkong whale shark to be a commodity for their meat and soup as an ingredient finnya. They usually catch it at the time these sharks congregate. Based on Whale Shark IUCN status is included in the category of vulnerable / at risk. The entire fishing activities such as selling, exporting and importing for commercial purposes has been banned in the Philippines since 1998, in India since 2001 and Taiwan in May 2007. Some biological characters of the Whale shark makes vulnerable to exploitation, including: large size, slow growth, slow to reach mature age, length and age.

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