whale shark

noun

Definition of whale shark 

: a shark (Rhincodon typus) of warm waters that has small teeth, feeds chiefly on plankton strained by its gill rakers, may sometimes attain a length of up to 60 feet (18.3 meters), and is the largest known fish

Examples of whale shark in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This is the jaw-dropping moment that a sleepy fisherman has a stretch and a yawn — oblivious to the giant whale shark swimming next to his canoe. Yasmin Harisha, Fox News, "Photographer captures whale shark swimming beneath sleepy fisherman," 20 June 2018 Though each experience was special, Jessica will most remember swimming with whale sharks, which can weigh in at more than 40,000 pounds and measure 33 feet long. Jennifer Franklin, USA TODAY, "Paradise awaits in the Philippines," 2 July 2018 No other whale shark has ever been observed to migrate that far. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "What the Longest Known Whale Shark Migration Ever Tells Us About Conservation," 8 May 2018 Today, whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea—growing to nearly the size of a school bus. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "Why Did Most Massive Bony Fish Behemoths Die Out?," 4 June 2018 The whale shark, found off southern Baja California, grows up to 50 feet long. Edmund Vallance, latimes.com, "Swimming with giant sharks is not as scary as it sounds," 18 Mar. 2018 Scientists have long struggled to explain why bony fishes are so small: The heaviest—the ocean sunfish—is just 2.3 metric tons, but cartilaginous fishes like whale sharks can weigh up to 34 metric tons. Colin Barras, Science | AAAS, "This ancient fish was bigger than a whale shark—and faster than scientists ever imagined," 29 May 2018 What could have driven a whale shark to cover such a tremendous distance? Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "What the Longest Known Whale Shark Migration Ever Tells Us About Conservation," 8 May 2018 Basking sharps are the world's second largest fish (32 feet long and weighing nearly 5,000 pounds), outsized only by the whale shark. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Why Are Huge Groups of Basking Sharks Gathering Together?," 15 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whale shark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of whale shark

circa 1885, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Aug 2018

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The first known use of whale shark was circa 1885

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