The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow moving filter feeding shark that is the largest living fish species. It can grow up to 12.2 m (40 ft) in length and can weigh up to 13.6 tonnes (15 short tons). This distinctively-marked shark is the only member of its genus Rhincodon and its family, Rhincodontidae (called Rhinodontes before 1984), which is grouped into the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. The shark is found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea and can live for about 70 years. The species is believed to have originated about 60 million years ago. Although whale sharks have very large mouths, they feed mainly, though not exclusively, on plankton, microscopic plants and animals (a whale shark was observed feeding on a school of small fish in the BBC program Planet Earth). From Wikipedia.