Ever wondered what role #whalesharks play in our #ecosystem? 🤔🤓
As large, filter-feeding fish, whale sharks affect local populations of zooplankton and small nekton by consuming these organisms.
Two siphonostomatoid copepods are uniquely hosted by whale sharks: Prosaetes rhinodontis is found on the surface of the filtration pads and is thought to be parasitic, while Pandarus rhincodonicus feeds on bacteria on the surface of the skin.
Most whale sharks are also hosts to #sharksucker and common #remora. Smaller varieties of sharksucker, such as white suckerfish, are often found living in the mouth and peribrachial cavity, as well as in the spiracle.
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