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Whale sharks are found in tropical waters and shallow coastal areas in oceans around the world, as well as in lagoons near coral reefs. The whale shark is the largest nonmammalian vertebrate on the planet, and can grow to lengths of over 40 feet.
While there is no concrete figure for the global whale shark population, they are classified as endangered by the IUCN and their numbers are believed to be decreasing. They are primarily impacted by fisheries where they often end up as bycatch. Areas of high boat traffic, such as shipping lanes, also pose a significant threat to whale shark, as they are fairly slow moving and can easily collide with vessels. Thankfully, the whale shark is protected under a number of international agreements in regards to preserving marine species.
- Recommended Age: 3+
- Size in cm: 18.5 L x 9 W x 5.75 H
- Size in inches: 7.28 L x 3.54 W x 2.26 H