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Whale Shark Biology - Natural Predators

Juvenile whale sharks have been found in the stomachs of a blue marlin, Makaira nigracans, and a blue shark, Prionace glauca (Kukuyev 1996). Similar to the other filter-feeding shark species, basking and megamouth, the whale shark's large size is the only attribute that helps to deter potential predators. Whale sharks are also protected by their extremely thick skin, up to six inches thick. Young whale sharks grow very rapidly, possibly an adaptation due to selection pressures.

Literature Cited

Kukuyev, E.I. 1996. The new finds in recently born individuals of the whale shark, Rhincodon typus, in the Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Ichthyology 36:203-205.