Common Name: Whale Shark

Scientific Name: Rhincodon typus

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Orectolobiformes

Family: Rhincodontidae

Genus: Rhincodon

Species: R. typus



Rhincodon typus is the scientific name for the whale shark. Whale sharks can be 12 to 20 meters long. Most whale sharks have descriptive spots of gray throughout their body. Instead of their mouth being below their head, its mouth is what’s called a terminal mouth, meaning it’s at the front of its head. The best way to tell the difference between a whale shark and a whale is simple. They have many small details. The whale sharks have diagonal tails unlike a whales’ tail, which is horizontal. The whale sharks have fins that whales don’t. They have many similarities though. They share many characteristics like their size. They eat krill and small fish. They live in the Australian Seas.


Author: Ashley M

Published: 02/2007


Photo Credit: en:Image:Whale shark Georgia aquarium.jpg Zac Wolf, 16 September 2006