The largest omnivorous animal in the world is actually a huge fish

Scientists have discovered that the largest omnivorous animal in the world is not the one we want. No, it’s not the kodiak bear or even the polar bear, but a fish. Yes, the whale shark is the largest omnivorous animal in the world.

In Australia, scientists have come to prove that the largest omnivorous animal in the world is a fish and not a mammal as we believe so far. The whale shark has actually just dethroned the kodiak bear from Alaska or the polar bear. Contrary to what its name suggests, the whale shark is not a cetacean, but a fish. It’s even the largest living fish on earth which can reach up to 20 meters in length. Definitely, the whale shark multiplies the records.

A whale shark – Credit: NOAA / Unsplash

The whale shark’s favorite foods are plankton and krill since it is a predominantly carnivorous fish. However, this does not prevent him from having a varied diet. As the researchers explained in their study published in the journal Ecology, whale sharks also feed on plantsin this case algae.

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Whale sharks feast on brown algae in Australia

Mark Meekan, fish biologist and lead author of the study, said: ” it makes us rethink everything we thought we knew about what whale sharks eat “. Indeed, the constituent algae actually an important part of the whale shark diet. Until now, we thought that these plants were ingested occasionally.

Researchers have noticed that whale sharks eat Sargassum, a type of brown seaweed, for their growth and energy. Sargassum is found in particular in Australia, along the Ningaloo Reef. It is a known place to study whale sharks. Scientists always thought whale sharks came here to feast on krill, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. In reality, ” they also eat a fair amount of algae “, explained Mark Meekan.

The whale sharks had therefore hidden this secret from us forever. This is a particularly important discovery for the field of biology. others marine species also maybe have a different diet than you think.

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Source: CNET

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