How did Whale Sharks Get so Big? What Kind of Food do They Eat to Sustain Themselves?

Whale sharks are the largest fish species in the world, and they can grow up to 40 feet (12 meters) in length and weigh up to 20 tons (18 metric tons). Scientists believe that their enormous size is due to a combination of factors, including their slow metabolism, the availability of abundant food sources, and their long lifespan.

Whale sharks are filter feeders, which means they eat tiny organisms that float in the water. Their diet consists mainly of plankton, krill, and small fish, which they filter from the water using their enormous mouths. They also eat squid and small crustaceans, as well as some small schooling fish.

To sustain their massive bodies, whale sharks need to consume a large volume of food each day. They have special structures in their gills called gill rakers, which help them filter out their food from the water. They also have a unique pattern of swimming that allows them to efficiently move through the water while expending minimal energy.

Overall, the combination of their filter feeding diet, slow metabolism, and efficient swimming style allows whale sharks to grow to such massive sizes and sustain their energy needs.

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