Year of 2017

Golden trevally swim with a whale shark

Talk about squad goals. This school of golden trevally is tagging along with the largest fish in the ocean—the whale shark. By swimming with the gentle giant, the trevally may be able to scavenge the whale shark’s leftovers, and even gain protection from predators. Unlike most sharks, the whale shark is a filter feeder that feasts primarily on plankton, so the trevally are safe inside its maw. You can find it chumming around with trevally in warm waters near the equator.

The whale shark is a slow-moving filter-feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 m and a weight of about 21.5 t. Unconfirmed claims of considerably larger individuals, over 14 m long and weighing at least 30 t, are not uncommon. The whale shark holds many records for sheer size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the largest living nonmammalian vertebrate. It is the sole member of the genus Rhincodon and the only extant member of the family Rhincodontidae, which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. The species originated about 60 million years ago.
Scientific name: Rhincodon typus
Biological classification: Species
Belongs to: Rhincodon
Whale Shark Scale
Whale shark Rhincodon typus compared in size with a human.