Now, we have talked about Pygmy Whales, Dwarf Whales.. and I hope you learned something about those animals. But, this one is one sea animal that I have always been attracted to ever since I saw it in a book when I was around 10 years old. Yes, it's the Whale Shark. It's so uniquely different and just is amazing to me. I'd be THRILLED if the Whale Shark ever became a mount in either Pirate101 or Wizard101!
The thing you notice first about the Whale Shark is the spots. Each Whale Shark has its own unique spots. Scientists say that it's like the human fingerprint, everyone has their own unique markings. Amazing right? Scientists also suspect they have the spots to help prevent harmful ultraviolet sun rays. You know, the Whale Shark is actually the largest fish in the ocean. It has NO predators after it at all. YEP, the Whale Shark is the beast. Even the Great White is afraid of it. BOOYA! Sadly of course Humans is its only threat. It is hunted in parts of Asia.
The Whale Shark has teeth, but doesn't usually use them for eating. I know, what?! They actually eat plankton of all things, just like a whale would. It's actually an gentle giant. They sometimes allow divers to grab ahold of their fin for a ride. You can even swim with it without worrying about it eating you. Although you still got to be careful around its mouth, it can accidentally suck you in. Or around its giant tail which can accidentally slap you. But yes, otherwise it's safe! :P Its face is broad and flat which is also very unique looking. It's like the look of a mix of a whale and shark. The dorsal fins and the gills, very sharky. It isn't a predator, has a filter for feeding and it's huge, like a whale. If you wanted to find one.. In the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually in the Northeastern coast of USA all of the way to Brazil and then across to Senegal in Africa and finally down to the Gulf of Guinea near Cameroon. It's also found anywhere in the Indian Ocean. For the Pacific ocean, you can only find them only from Japan to Australia. You know, the largest Whale Shark they say is about 41 feet and weighs around 21 tons, which is like 47,000 POUNDS! Talk about heavy!
But the most interesting part is that in Vietnamese culture, the Whale Shark is considered as a deity and is called "Ca Ong" which means literally "Sir Fish." This one cracked me up. Sir Fish, seriously? WOW! In Mexico and Latin America, it's called "Pez Dama" or "Domino" because of its spots. In Belize though, they call it "Sapodilla Tom" because they keep seeing it regularly near Sapodilla Cayes on the Belize Barrier Reef. Go figure. But in Africa, it's called "Papa Shillingi" and Kenya has a myth that God threw shillings upon the shark which is why it has spots. In Madagascar, they call it "Marokintana" which means "many stars." And Javanese call it "Geger Lintang" also meaning "stars in the back." Elsewhere, it's called "Butanding" and "Balilan" in the Philippines and in Madurese, "Kikaki." In the Philippines the Whale Shark is actually found on the back of their One Hundred Peso Bill!
I hope I taught you guys a bit about whales. I know I have listed amazing facts about them lately. If you see any other sea animals or even any animal you'd like to learn about, please post a comment and I'll research them and make a post about them. :)
Mount Concept Art - The Whale Shark Reviewed by The Fabulous K on Monday, May 13, 2013 Rating: