Kingdom Animalia  
 Phylum Chordata  
 Class Chondrichthyes  
 Order Orectolobiformes  
 Family Rhincodontidae  
 Genus Rhincodon  
  Rhincodon typus  Smith, 1828 
Provider: Pofeng Lee& Shoou-Jeng Joung 
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Synonyms:Micristodus punctatusRhicodon typusRhineodon typusRhiniodon typusRhinodon pentalineatusRhinodon typicus  details
Citation: 臺灣魚類誌(沈等, 1993);中國動物誌-圓口綱及軟骨魚綱(朱等, 2001);FAO Species Catalogue, Vol.4 Sharks of the world
Character: A very large shark with cylindrical or moderately depressed body. Head very broad and flattened, with 5 large gill slits, the posterior 3 over the pectoral-fin bases; no gill rakers but filter grids of transverse bars and lobes across the internal gill slits; spiracles much smaller than eyes; nostrils with short, quadrate anterior nasal flaps, minute barbels, and shallow nasoral grooves; no nictitating eyelids; snout extremely short, truncated ; mouth nearly subterminal, very wide, transverse and short, not reaching backward to eyes; teeth very small and extremely numerous, similar in both jaws, not bladelike and with hooked cusps. Two dorsal fins, the first with rear 1/3 of base over pelvic-fin bases, the second less than half the size of first; anal fin present; caudal fin asymmetrical, crescentic, with a strong lower lobe but no subterminal notch. Caudal peduncle depressed, with a strong keel on each side continuing forward onto the back and over the gill slits as a small ridge and flanked by 2 additional ridges above; upper precaudal pit present. Colour: a unique checkerboard pattern of white or yellow spots, horizontal and vertical stripes on a grey, bluish, reddish or greenish brown dorsal surface, abruptly white or yellowish on the underside of the body. 
Habitat: This is by far the world’s largest fish-like vertebrate, with an uncertain maximum size. Maximum total length at least 12 m; possibly 17 to 18 m or even 21.4 m. An epipelagic and neritic, oceanic and coastal, tropical and warm-temperate pelagic shark, oft 
Distribution: Circumglobal in the tropical and warm temperate Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, oceanic and coastal. 
Utility: The whale shark was formerly of limited interest to fisheries worldwide, but recently became the subject of a high value fishery off Taiwan and the Pilippines for fins, flesh, and other products. Captured in gill nets and sometimes in trawls, and often ha 
Name Code: 383137
      IUCN Red List:EN A2bd+4bd              Marine     
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