Distinctive Characters: With its huge size and distinctive spotting, whale shark cannot be confused with any other species. Very wide, nearly terminal mouth with numberous minute teeth. Very broad head.
Colour: Dark above with numerous narrow whitish bars and rows of spots, pale below.
Habitat and Biology: A pelagic filter feeder, occurring singly or in small schools, often near the surface. Feeds mainly on plankton, sometimes on small pelagic crustaceans or small schooling fishes.
Remarks: Rhincodon typus is the largest living fish. Despite its large size, it is not a dangerous species. It is sometimes seen by divers, normally during southwest monsoon off the east coast and during the northeast monsoon off the west coast. No specimens have been collected, or likely to be collected, but this species have been seen by Fisheries staff occasionally. The whale shark being rare and endangered, is a protected species in the Maldives.!