To about 40 ft (12.2 m).
- Back and sides marked with unique checkerboard pattern of white-to-yellow spots and transverse bars on dark gray to reddish- or greenish-gray background
- Head broad and flat with short snout
- Mouth near tip of snout in front of eyes
- Sides with three prominent ridges
New York to central Brazil, including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
Coastal and offshore; sometimes enters lagoons of coral atolls; most commonly 68-77°F (20-25°C).
Size and unique markings of whale shark distinguish this species from other Atlantic sharks.
Text descriptions taken from:
Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes
of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico