Marine fauna in the Canary Islands: A whale shark surprises fishermen in Canary waters – La Provincia


A whale shark surprised fishermen on the afternoon of this Wednesday, July 1, three miles from the coast of La Gomera. The animal, harmless to man, swam near the boat and left a unique experience to its crew members who enjoyed the beauty and magnitude of this fish, which although it is considered the largest fish in the ocean, this small specimen.

A giant of the sea

He whale shark (Rhincodon typus), the largest existing fish in the oceans with specimens that can reach 12 meters in length, inhabits warm tropical waters. It is believed to have been on Earth for 70 million years.

Some pass through the Canary Islands in their migration routes although very rarely so close to the island coastline. It feeds mainly on plankton and, like the second largest fish on the planet, the basking shark, it does so by filtration.

To eat, it opens its huge jaws wide and absorbs everything that is nearby. Then it closes its mouth, expelling and filtering the water through the gills.

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