1. The whale shark can measure up to 18 meters in length.
2. This species prefers warm surface water or those areas where there are cooler water springs rich in nutrients since these conditions favor the growth of the plankton from which it feeds. That is one of the reasons why there are so many individuals in the waters of Isla Mujeres (Quintana Roo) during the summer.
3. The spots that the whale sharks present have generated different local names such as domino or ladyfish, alluding to the table game. Each individual has a unique pattern of spots that allows their individual identification, it is like their fingerprint as it does not change with growth. It is possible that it also fulfills a function of "social attractiveness".
4. The whale shark is usually a solitary species, although sometimes it is coexisting with spices of horse mackerel, manta rays, and other whale sharks.
5. The whale has no common features with conventional whales with the sole exception of its size and the fact that only as tiny plankton collects with its mouth open. Normally it feeds on the surface or slightly below it, filtering through its gills the small organisms (of plankton) that are in the water.
6. Whale sharks are viviparous animals and sometimes their offspring can be seen swimming with the adults. Although there are still no accurate studies of their reproductive biology, pregnant female whale sharks have been registered with up to 300 young!
7. The whale shark is very docile and gentle and does not get frightened when divers or swimmers approach it.
8. The scarce information that has been generated up to now, supposes that the longevity of whale sharks reaches 100 years.
9. The distribution of the whale shark covers all tropical waters (except the Mediterranean Sea), that is to say, those waters that are between the two tropics of the terrestrial globe, and that are identified by their warm temperatures.
10. According to the Official Mexican Standard NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2001, this beautiful animal is under the category of threatened, and is currently protected by national organisms and laws that regulate the observation of the whale shark such as Conamp (for its acronym National Commission of Natural Protected Areas) and the General Law of Wildlife
The seasonal feeding aggregations occur at several coastal sites and that is why we get to see them near Isla Mujeres every year between May and September.
In 2011 more than 400 whale sharks gathered off the Yucatan Coast. It was one of the largest gatherings of whale sharks. Whale sharks are docile fish and younger ones are gentle and can play with divers.
Join us for one of the greatest experiences of your life and come swim with the Whale Sharks this summer. There is a maximum of 10 people on each boat according to the regulations so larger groups need to reserve in advance.
Sometimes you can also see Devil rays as they feed on plankton.
The tour inlcudes high quality snorkel equipment, sandwiches or ceviche, fruit, and non-alcoholic drinks. One of our experienced guides swims with 2 people at a time. The departure is every day at 8 am and you will have all the time you want to swim with the Whale Sharks.
Please ask about our private tours to swim with this amazing creature!