Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are generally found between latitudes of 30 degrees N and 35 degrees S. Whale sharks congregate throughout the year at several different areas that provide prime feeding opportunities. These areas include Ningaloo Reef off of western Australia in March and April, the Belize Barrier Reef in April and May, and off of North Island, New Zealand from November to April. This species also gathers in the Sea of Cortez but with no seasonal regularity.
Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Native ); australian (Native ); oceanic islands (Native ); indian ocean (Native ); atlantic ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )
Other Geographic Terms: cosmopolitan
- Clark, E. 1992. Gentle monsters of the deep: whale sharks. National Geographic, 182/6: 120-139.
- Duffy, C. 2002. Distribution, seasonality, lengths and feeding behavior of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) observed in New Zealand waters. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 36: 565-570.
- Eckert, S., B. Stewart. 2001. Telemetry and satellite tracking of whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico and the north Pacific ocean. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 60: 299-308.
- Gunn, J., J. Stevens, T. Davis, B. Norman. 1999. Observations on the short-term movements and behaviour of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Marine Biology, 135: 553-559.
- Heyman, W., R. Graham, B. Kjerfve, R. Johannes. 2001. Whale sharks Rhincodon typus aggregate to feed on fish spawn in Belize. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 215: 275-282.
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