Sodwana Bay may be small and difficult to reach but it’s one of the best places in South Africa to don a mask and fins and drop a line in the literal sense. Part of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, this 1,155 hectare strip of forest, dunes and sandy beaches sits adjacent to rock pools, coral reefs and deep waters. It’s a nesting site for leatherback and loggerhead turtles. It’s home to soft and hard corals and more than 900 species of fish. Marlin and sailfish are prolific. Its fourteen rocky reefs have caves, overhangs, and pinnacles. Its swamp and sand forests are rich in bird and animal life. In short, Sodwana Bay National Park is an ideal destination for beach-goers that want to do more than soak up the sun.
There are lots of fun facts about whale sharks. Did you know that?
The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is the only member of the Rhincodontidae family of small-toothed sharks. It’s a type of fish not a kind of whale.
Whale sharks inhabit the warm waters of the world’s tropical oceans and subtropical seas. They are found in deep and shallow waters. They spend most of their time near the ocean’s surface.
The whale shark has a huge mouth and more than 3,000 tiny teeth. It has a wide, flat head, two small eyes, and five pairs of gills. Each whale shark has a unique checkerboard of yellow stripes and spots on its thick gray skin.
Whale sharks are the largest species of shark and largest living species of fish. They can measure 60 feet (18 m) in length and weigh as much as 27,200 pounds (12,337 kg).
The whale shark is a slow moving animal. Unlike other species of shark that propel their bodies with their tail, the whale shark uses it whole body to swim.
Whale sharks eat plankton, krill and small squid. They are filter feeders as they strain their food from the water.
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