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The Ningaloo Reef Whale Shark

Rendered as the biggest fish in the world, the Ningaloo reef Whale Shark just like any other shark is cold blooded and breathes through the gills. It swims slowly with full body movements from side to side. This shark can weigh up to 20 tonnes and grow up to 12 metres in length and it can be generally found in the entire Indian Ocean to depths of up to 130 metres. The Ningaloo reef whale shark graces the Ningaloo reef from March to September to feed on plankton

The Ningaloo reef whale shark tends to be a solitary creature and very little is known about the adults and their mating patterns. Most of the aquatic life specialists have deduced that they spend most of their time in great ocean depths due to their high vulnerability levels and it is unknown what they eat during this period of time. Encounters with the Ningaloo reef whale shark is guaranteed during the period between March and
September in the Ningaloo reef.

The Ningaloo Reef whale shark is a filter feeder mostly surviving on plankton, coral spawn, krill, fish eggs, small fish or even jellyfish. The Ningaloo reef whale shark is practically harmless to both man and the school of fish surrounding them and their set of small teeth actually play no part in their feeding at all. They take in water through the mouth and food particles are retained within the denticles while the rest of the water comes out through the gills.

Little is known about their life cycle and production and they are assumed to be oviviparus. It is estimated that they hit sexual maturity at 30 and they are thought to live up to 100 years. The whale shark due to its friendly nature has no natural enemies except man. Very little is known about their migration patterns but in general the Ningaloo reef whale shark prefers tropical regions with warmer waters. The Ningaloo reef whale shark is almost always constantly in migration going where the food is.

Unfortunately the Ningaloo reef whale shark is almost on the verge of extinction and is listed as a vulnerable creature with the world conservation union. This is because the whale sharks face a big danger of exploitation by man and have a very sluggish growth rate hitting maturity at 30 and having a lifespan ranging from 60-100 years. They record long intervals between pregnancies and basically man’s consumption super cedes their production rate. Lots of non-profit organisations strive to protect the Ningaloo reef whale sharks today from the real threat of extinction. With package tours offered you can enjoy diving with a whale shark without harming them.