whale shark

(redirected from Rhincodon)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Rhincodon: Whale sharks

whale shark,

large, plankton-eating shark, Rhincodon typus, found in all tropical seas of the world. The largest known specimens are 50 ft (15 m) long, making them the largest fish in the world. The whale shark feeds largely on plankton, as well as on small fish and crustaceans. It is the only large shark with its mouth at the front of its head rather than on the underside. The mouth is equipped with many rows of tiny teeth, and the throat has numerous long slender structures called gill rakers, which form a fine mesh for straining food from the water. The whale shark's body is stout but streamlined, like that of a whale. It is dark brown above, with many white or yellow spots, and white or yellow below. The whale shark is a docile, torpid fish; it does not attack, even on provocation, but has been known to collide with boats. It is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information.
, subphylum Vertebrata, class Chondrichthyes, order Selachii, family Rhincodontidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
Basking sharks are among the largest living neoselachians, exceeded only in size by the whale shark Rhincodon typus (Smith, 1828), attaining a maximum total length of 12.
Preliminary study of vertebral growth rings in the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, from the east coast of South Africa.
Young whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, feeding on a copepod bloom near La Paz, Mexico.
Telemetry and satellite tracking of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico and the north Pacific Ocean.
Whale sharks Rhincodon typus aggregate to feed on fish spawn in Belize.
Threatened fishes of the world: Rhincodon typus (Smith 1828) (Rhincodontidae).
Rhincodontidae Rhincodon typus Smith, 1828 (1) Lamnidae Isurus oxyrinchus Rafinesque, + 1809 Isurus spp.