The Whale Shark


The whale shark can be found in the worm waters near the tropic, in the pacific and in the golf of Baja California Sur. One of the most popular places to find whale sharks is the bay of Los Angeles to the North and the bay of La Paz here in Baja California Sur. Also in Quintana Roo,  Isla Holbox, and Yucatan.

The whale shark usually travels slowly; at times they form groups to feed in areas in large concentrations of food. They scoop these tiny plants and animals up, along with any small fish that happen to be around, with their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to the water's surface.

Its back and sides are gray to brown with white spots among pale vertical and horizontal stripes, and its belly is white. Its two dorsal fins are set rearward on its body, which ends in a large dual-lobbed caudal fin (or tail).

Its skin can be 10 inches thick its body is hidrodinamaclly robust and its head is broad and flattened. Its enormous mouth can reach to 1.5 meters wide and the capacity to accommodate a sea lion. Its tale can reach more than 2.5 meters from side to side. However the whale sharke is not an fast swimmer do to the fact that it uses its entire body to swim which is not common in fish of this magnitude. There for they move at an average of 5 miles per hour a relatively slow speed.

At the bay of La Paz shark specialist Dany Ramirez studies daily behavior of the whale sharks, from a ship as well from a hydro plane working in sync with the whale shark.

Dany Ramirez…”The plane saw 10 sharks and we saw 8. We stated working at 7 am it was an amazing day especially to have whale sharks here still at the end of January. We will follow them and see where they go from here. They can dive deep as 1000 meters this is where we put tags on them and this is how we know that they can go down a thousand meters. To avoid losing the data that the tags have we realise them. We also know that the whale sharks can live up to 100 years old. They can have off springs until the age of 30. In there life time they can give birth up to 300 sharks. In the south of Baja we have groups of pregnant females in the area of La Paz…” 

Dany Ramirez…”I am installing satellite tags; I am only installing three satellite tags. What these tags do is measure the tempeture, depth and movement of the shark. Studies show that these whale shark return and this does  not happen any other place in the world…” 

For divers and all lover of the world water, swimming with the whale sharks or to have an encounter with this animal is truly a privilege and one of the most popular adventures in the world.

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