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Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828
WHALE SHARK
Checkerboard Shark; Rhiniodon typus Smith, 1828

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Rhincodontidae   Rhincodon

Rhincodon typus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Rhincodon typus

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Overview
Main identification features Robust body; snout very short and broad; eye small, round; mouth wide, transverse, a little behind tip of snout; five large gill slits, last three over pectoral fin; two dorsal fins, first over pelvics, second and smaller fin over anal; tail almost symmetric, with large lower lobe; tail base flattened, with large keel that continues forward as crest along body and over gill slits, with two more crests above along body.

Dark, with prominent white spots.

Size: to 21.40 m.

Habitat: pelagic in nearshore and offshore waters.

Depth: 0-240 m.

This species is distributed worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas, including throughout the eastern Pacific.


Attributes
Abundance: Common.
Cites: Appendix II.
Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California); Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo); South Temperate (Peruvian Province ).
Depth Range Max: 240 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: zooplankton; pelagic fish eggs; bony fishes; Pelagic crustacea; octopus/squid/cuttlefish.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=33; Southern limit=-27; Western limit=-118; Eastern limit=-71; Latitudinal range=60; Longitudinal range=47.
Egg Type: Live birth; No pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Planktivore.
FishBase Habitat: Pelagic.
Global Endemism: Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans); East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West); Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America); East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West); All Pacific (West + Central + East); TEP non-endemic; "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Water column.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Offshore; In & Offshore.
IUCN Red List: Vulnerable; Listed.
Length Max: 2140 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); Eastern Pacific non-endemic; Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Mid Water; Near Surface; Surface; Water column only;


Names
Scientific source:

Links to other sites

References
  • Acero, A. and Franke, R., 2001., Peces del parque nacional natural Gorgona. En: Barrios, L. M. y M. Lopéz-Victoria (Eds.). Gorgona marina: Contribución al conocimiento de una isla única., INVEMAR, Serie Publicaciones Especiales No. 7:123-131.
  • Almenara Roldán, S. C., 2000., Demanda internacional en el manejo de especies marinas de ornato. En Aburto Oropeza, O. y C. A. Sánchez Ortiz (Eds.). Recursos arrecifales del Golfo de California, estrategias de manejo para las especies marinas de ornato., Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur:30-38.
  • Béarez, P., 1996., Lista de los Peces Marinos del Ecuador Continental., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 44:731-741.
  • Castro-Aguirre, J.L. and Balart, E.F., 2002., La ictiofauna de las islas Revillagigedos y sus relaciones zoogeograficas, con comentarios acerca de su origen y evolucion. En: Lozano-Vilano, M. L. (Ed.). Libro Jubilar en Honor al Dr. Salvador Contreras Balderas., Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León:153-170.
  • Compagno, L.J.V., 1999., Checklist of living elasmobranchs. In Hamlett W.C. (ed.) Sharks, skates, and rays: the biology of elasmobranch fishes., The John Hopkins University Press:471-498.
  • Compagno, L.J.V., 1984., Sharks of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of sharks species known to date. Part 1. Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes. FAO Species Catalogue., FAO Fish. Synop. No 125, 4(1):1-249.
  • Eschmeyer , W. N. , Herald , E. S. and Hamman, H., 1983., A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California. Peterson Field Guide Ser. 28., Houghton Mifflin:336pp.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Galván-Magaña, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., Pérez-España, H., Chávez-Ramos, H., 1996., Systematics list of the fishes from Cerralvo island, Baja California Sur, Mexico., Ciencias Marinas, 22:295-311.
  • Hildebrand, S.F., 1946., A descriptive catalog of the shore fishes of Peru., Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., 189:1-530.
  • Humann, P., 1993., Reef Fish Identification: Galapagos., New World Publishing:192pp.
  • Jimenez-Prado, P., Béarez, P., 2004., Peces marinos del Ecuador continental / Marine fishes of continental Ecuador., SIMBIOE/NAZCA/IFEA tomo 1 y 2.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Musick, J.A., Harbin, M.M., Berkeley, S.A., Burgess, G.H. Eklund, A.M., Findley, L., Gilmore, R.G., Golden, J.T., Ha, D.S., Huntsman, G.R., McGovern, J.C., Parker, S.J., Poss, S.G., Sala, E., & Schmidt, T.W., Sedberry, G.R., Weeks, H., Wright, S.G., 2000., Marine, estuarine, and diadromous fish stocks at risk of extinction in North America (exclusive of Pacific salmonids)., Fisheries, 25:6-30.
  • Rubio, E.A., 1986., Notas sobre la ictiofauna de la Isla de Gorgona, Colombia., Boletin Ecotropica. Univ. Bog. Jorge Tadeo Lozano, 13:86-112.
  • Smith, A., 1828., Descriptions of new, or imperfectly known objects of the animal kingdom, found in the south of Africa., So. Afr. Commercial Advertiser, 3:2.
  • Van der Heiden , A. M. and Findley, L. T., 1988., Lista de los peces marinos del sur de Sinaloa, México., Anales del Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia de la Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico, 15:209-224.
  • Villareal-Cavazos, A., Reyes-Bonilla, H., Bermúdez-Almada, B. and Arizpe-Covarrubias, O., 2000., Los peces del arrecife de Cabo Pulmo, Golfo de California, México: Lista sistemática y aspectos de abundancia y biogeografía., Rev. Biol. Trop., 48:413-424.

Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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Updated: 2021-03-09 10:51:28 gmt
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