a tropical shark, Rhincodon typus, ranging in size from 30 to 60 feet (9 to 18 meters), having small teeth and a sievelike structure over its gills for catching plankton.
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Origin of whale shark
First recorded in 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for whale shark
a large spotted whalelike shark, Rhincodon typus, of warm seas, that feeds on plankton and small animals: family Rhincodontidae
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012