Whales sharks might seems intimidating but, they´re actually a slow filter- feeding type of shark that´s also the biggest fish in the world!
From June to Dicember you can encouter whale sharks in Galapagos, roaming about the open waters near Darwin and Wolf!
Whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea, can reach up to 40ft and approximately 12m long. Estimates say that the largest ones can weigh up to 60 tons!
Galapagos is the ideal place for these gentle giants because it is here that three currents of ocean meet. The South Equatorial (or Humboldt current), the warm Panama current and the cold Cromwell current converge. The Humboldt current lowers water and land temperature, creating the perfect environment for whale sharks to take advantage of water rich nutrients and plankton!
Did you Know – Most whale sharks in the Galapagos are pregnant females.
Whale sharks are iteresting creatures. they don´t have rows of teeth like the other species, instead they are filter feeders, this means that they just eat plankton. They move slowly through the water, making sure that they capture plankton through their mouth and gills. Whale sharks even suck tha water into their huge mouths (that work like vacuums), and later expel it through their gills, which retain their food. Their diet consists of plankton, baitfish, squids and sometimes crustaceans.
A sighting of a whale shark impressive because of their size, and the fact that they are roaming around with company. Whale sharks do not travel in groups, but they are host to other fish that eat off their dead skin and clean this huge creature.
Where can you find them?
In Galapagos they are usually found at a depth ranging from 4 to 20 meters under the surface. Diving with whale sharks is an unparalleled experience! Their anatomy limits their speed to 3 miles or 5 kilometers per hour, which means that you can swim along them very easily observing as it peacefully makes its way through the Galápagos waters.
It is uncommun to see Galapagos whale shaks on a cruise. So, make sure you get in the water snorkeling, or diving, to increase your chances to see one.
If you are visiting Galapagos this November, consider making a trip to Darwin and Wolf! If you dive, don´t miss out on this incredible experience of swimming next to this extraordinary creature.