What Is The Largest Fish In The World?

We have to start off with “what is a fish”, just to make sure we don’t accidentally chose a mammal. A fish is an animal that lives in the water, are usually cold-blooded, use gills to breathe, often have scales and backbones, and instead of limbs, they have finds. Okay, so not all fish live up to those specifications. For example, some fish actually crawl on land. Tunas and marlins are warmer blooded than the water they live in. Lungfish have lungs instead of gills. Eels don’t have scales and sharks’ backbones are made out of cartilage.  Hmmm.

Let me say, then, that a whale is a very large animal that lives in the water but isn’t a fish, it’s a mammal. So, don’t chose a whale as the answer. Or should you?

The largest fish in the world is the whale shark!

whale-shark-207401_1280-1024x768 What Is The Largest Fish In The World?

What a confusing name! Is it a whale or a shark? It’s a shark.

The whale shark is a very slow shark that feeds on plankton and small fish. It opens it’s huge mouth and feeds by filtering the food from the water. These ‘gentle giants’ can be up to 40 feet long and weigh as much as 21 tons. This beautifully spotted creature is docile and often lets divers swim very close to it, if not actually holding on to a fin as it passes by.

Some of the best places to find whale sharks can be found off the coasts of Mexico, Honduras, the Philippines, Thailand, and Mozambique.

Sources:

Top destinations for swimming, view and dive with whale sharks. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.spotmydive.com/en/news/top-best-place-dive-snorkeling-with-whale-shark#.WEFEk-bhBPY

Whale Shark | National Geographic. (2010, September 10). Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/w/whale-shark/

What is a Fish? – Encyclopedia of Life. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://eol.org/info/442

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