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42-feet-long rare whale shark found dead on an Odisha beach

A 42-feet-long and 28-feet-wide carcass of a rare whale shark was found at Baidhara Pentha beach in Puri district of Odisha.

“It’s a rare whale shark mostly seen in the Pacific Ocean. The cause of death can be ascertained after the post-mortem examination,” said Satapada Forest Ranger Achyutananda Das. The whale died 10-15 days back and the carcass washed away to the shore, he added.

He said the veterinary college doctors have been requested to conduct an autopsy to establish the reason of death.

The forest officials recovered the dead marine species on getting information from the local people.

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is a slow-moving filter-feeding shark and the largest known extant fish species. They have very large mouths and are filter feeders, which is a feeding mode that occurs in only two other sharks, the megamouth shark and the basking shark. They feed almost exclusively on plankton and, therefore, are completely harmless to humans.

The largest confirmed whale shark had a length of 12.65 m (41.5 ft) and a weight of about 21.5 t (47,000 lb). Unconfirmed claims of considerably larger individuals, over 14 m (46 ft) long and weighing at least 30 t (66,000 lb), are not uncommon.

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