If you really want to swim with the whale sharks, then you need to know a few things about the big, bold and beautiful creatures. The whale shark tourism is something that has exploded for the past few years. Snorkeling and whale sharks tour in Cancun have become quite popular due to the recent uprise in tourism.
Amazing Facts About Whale Sharks
Before you dive deep into the ocean, here are some things that you need to know about the whale sharks –
Largest fish – Whale shark is undoubtedly the largest fish in the whole world. It is confusing to say the name ‘whale shark’, however, to be precise, they are the species of sharks and are classified as fishes. Whales are generally mammals but the whale sharks on the tour are the largest fishes all over the globe. These big creatures can grow up to 40 feet long, and weigh about 20 tons. Most importantly, they live for around 100 years and more. Contradictory to their big bodies, they have tiny brains and are not very curious about anything which is not food to them. The whale sharks are not intelligent and don’t really understand the human and animal connection.
The “whale” part of the name refers to size and how the animals eat. They are one of only three known shark species that filter feed, as baleen whales do, swimming slowly through plankton-rich water, maws agape. Water goes in carrying edibles of all sizes, and water sans food flows out.
Filter feeders – The one thing that’s safe about them is that they are filter feeders i.e. they are not going to eat you at all. The whale sharks have tiny teeth and a small throat. Whale sharks are not dangerous hunters and are not going to bite you, of course. They use their tiny teeth to chew the food. Even scientists are not really sure why they have those teeth at all. They feed themselves with krill or plankton. These fishes are usually very tiny and whale sharks scoop them up in their mouths easily.
Location – Whale sharks tend to enjoy temperature to warm waters. Because of this, they are generally found in the waters along the Equator. The fish is primarily pelagic, meaning that they live in the open sea, but not in the greater depths of the ocean. With this in mind, whale shark habitat is usually found in the waters around South Africa, Central America, and South America. If you talk about the largest group of whale sharks, these are found in Mexico near Isla Mujeres, Isla Holbox, Isla Contoy, and La Paz. You can find them anywhere around the krill during the summertime when it’s available in bountiful. The largest group gathering of whale sharks is between July and August. You’ll see a large number of whale sharks during these months.
Once you’re well versed with the sharks and their nature, that’s the time when you’re ready for a whale sharks tour in Cancun.