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Home News Eco News Female whale sharks are officially the biggest fish in the sea

Female whale sharks are officially the biggest fish in the sea

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objective
redaction

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probably it's an affirmation
Affirmation0.36746987951807

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Summary (IA Generated)

With an average adult length of eight or nine meters (roughly 28 feet), they’re whoppers compared with some of your favorite marine life forms.

According to a new study, published in Frontiers in Marine Science on Wednesday, a decade-long analysis has confirmed female sharks reign supreme as biggest fish in the sea — overtaking the males to reach an average of 14 meters (almost 46 feet).

Mark Meekan, a fish biologist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and first author on the paper, noted some whales have even reached up to 18 meters (59 feet) long.

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Because of the slow growth rate, the team tracked 54 individual whale sharks over the course of 10 years, recording more than 1,000 measurements with stereo-video cameras.

‘It’s basically two cameras set up on a frame that you push along when you’re underwater,’ said Brett Taylor, a biologist at the  Australian Institute of Marine Science scientist and the study’s co-author.

‘It works the same way our eyes do — so you can calibrate the two video recordings and get a very accurate measurement of the shark,’ Taylor said.

The team also discovered the increased size of female whale sharks may be advantageous when it comes to producing offspring.

Given their long growth rates, whale sharks being targeted by fisherman might result in a further population decline for the animals.

‘If you’re a very slow-growing animal and it takes you 30 years or more to get to maturity, the chances of disaster striking before you get a chance to breed is probably quite high,’ Meekan said.


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