The Whale shark is the largest fish in the world andarrives to Holbox Island every year between the months of May and September in the search of the warm waters of the Caribbean and the Plankton from the Gulf.
The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is one of the three species of sharks that feed through a water filtration mechanism, along with the Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) and the Boquiancho shark (megamouth shark), which holds a wide variety of plankton and nekton, including small crustaceans like krill, crab and copeados larva, small fish like sardines, anchovies, mackerel and occasionally larger prey like small tuna and squid.
Its slow motion as it approaches the water surface allows the sighting and swimming with them.
The round spots on the whale sharks back have been the source for several names like: dominoes or checkerfish, referring to the checkers board game. Each Whale shark has a unique spots pattern that makes it easier to identify them individually, since it doesn’t really change, as they grow old.
Whale sharks prefer warm surface waters, or areas where there are outbreaks of cooler water rich in nutrients, since these conditions favor the growth of the plankton on which they feed. This natural phenomenon occurs very near Holbox Island, specifically at the northeast of Cabo Catoche.
That’s one of the reasons that make Holbox Island, the best place to swim with whale sharks during the summer.
– Whale shark's can grow up to the size of a small cessna airplane.
– The Whale shark can have up to twenty-seven thousand tiny teeth.