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4, Feb, 2009

Whaleshark GalleryA collection of Whaleshark underwater images taken at Lanta’s top dive sites.

The Whaleshark is the largest fish in the sea, weighing up to 60 tons and reportedly measuring up to 18 metres in length. With approximately 3,000 tiny teeth, arranged in 300 rows in each 4 foot wide jaw, they filter-feed on some of the smallest creatures in the sea, such as plankton and small crustaceans.

The Whaleshark’s skin can be up to 10cm think, but is vulnerable to skin infections (which can prove fatal in extreme cases) – so divers must be extremely careful not to touch these gentle giants. It is believed that Whalesharks can live to be over 100 years old and do not mature until they are 30 – this has contributed to their status as an endangered and protected species in most areas of the world. Humans are the Whaleshark’s main predator, although they are sometimes attacked by Killer Whales (Orcas).

Whalesharks give birth to live young which hatch from eggs within their mother’s body. A pregnant Whale Shark can be carrying as many as 300 embryos. As with most sharks, female Whale Sharks are larger than their male counterparts.

The best Ko Lanta dive sites to spot a Whaleshark are Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and Ko Haa.

All images are taken by professional Liquid Lense Underwater Digital Imaging Specialists at the dive sites around Ko Lanta, Thailand. Click on any image below to start a slideshow.




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