Definition of whale shark in US English:

whale shark


  • A very large tropical shark which typically swims close to the surface, where it feeds chiefly on plankton. It is the largest known fish.

    Rhincodon typus, the sole member of the family Rhincodontidae

    • ‘Some snorkellers swam alongside a whale shark, while divers of one boat made their entry to find themselves among a welcoming committee of pilot whales.’
    • ‘There was another report in the local media of a big whale shark being caught off of Taitung recently.’
    • ‘Perhaps it had been left behind by a whale shark.’
    • ‘It has also created websites monitoring whale shark and basking shark movements and identification worldwide.’
    • ‘At 22 meters, it is almost twice as long as the whale shark, the biggest fish in the ocean today.’
    • ‘The largest of all fish, the whale shark, lives off plankton alone!’
    • ‘The whale shark, the biggest fish on earth, is a plankton feeder and harmless to divers.’
    • ‘On one dive, as we drifted along with the current, passing the school of hammerheads, an 8m whale shark came out of the blue towards us.’
    • ‘Basking sharks feed exclusively on plankton and are the coolwater equivalent of the tropical whale shark.’
    • ‘The basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus is only second in size to the whale shark.’
    • ‘It is here that divers may encounter anything from schooling batfish, barracudas to a sailfish, or even the whale shark.’
    • ‘This fish is second in size only to the whale shark and displays the same gentle characteristics and feeding habits as its larger cousin.’
    • ‘Shark finning is a lucrative business, with a single fin from a whale shark or a basking shark being worth as much as $14, \500.’
    • ‘But if you are dreaming of swimming with a whale shark, the period from December to March is the best.’
    • ‘The whale shark, the hammerhead and the nurse shark are impossible to confuse.’
    • ‘The whale shark is the largest fish in the seas and can reach more than 14m in length.’
    • ‘As the whale shark ended its days on the front pages of the city's newspapers, many readers were seized by the awareness that it was, despite its gigantic proportions, a harmless creature that feeds only on plankton.’
    • ‘Finally, I am concerned that the bill proposes to issue quota for species that are so endangered that they are subject to the convention on endangered species, such as basking shark, whale shark, and sea horse.’
    • ‘Summer is a good time to go to the region, if you can stand the heat, for a rare chance to dive with a whale shark.’
    • ‘Who would claim that a moray eel, whale shark or barracuda had such a quality, impressive as they might be in other respects?’