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Home » Cendrawasih Bay National Park: Playground of the spotted Whaleshark » The Giant Whale shark: The Spectacular Wonder of Cendrawasih Bay in Papua

The Giant Whale shark: The Spectacular Wonder of Cendrawasih Bay in Papua

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  1. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  2. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  3. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  4. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  5. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  6. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  7. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  8. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  9. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  10. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  11. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  12. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  13. Taman Nasional Teluk Cendrawasih

  14. Live Aboard bersama Temu Kira: Makan, Tidur, Nyelam, Istirahat, Bercengkrama, Ulangi!

  15. Live Aboard bersama Temu Kira: Makan, Tidur, Nyelam, Istirahat, Bercengkrama, Ulangi!

  16. Live Aboard bersama Temu Kira: Makan, Tidur, Nyelam, Istirahat, Bercengkrama, Ulangi!

  17. Bagan nelayan di Teluk Cendrawasih

    Bagan nelayan di Teluk Cendrawasih

 

Overview

Dominated more by seas than land, the vast Indonesian Archipelago is filled with countless marvels. Not only on the islands  but below the surface of the water also  live  some of the most magnificent creatures of the world. One of these are the giant of the deep sea,the Whale sharks who find their playground in the large Cendrawasih Bay, off the north coast of Indonesian Papua Island.

 

Bearing the scientific name of Rhincodon typus, Whale sharks are migratory animals, and are known to grow to 18 meters in length or more. Biologists tell us that they are an ancient species originating some 60 million years ago, and are usually found in the open ocean. They have a lifespan of 70 years. Unbelievably these huge animals are docile since they live only on plankton, clouds of egg roe and tiny fish.

 

The whale shark is a slow-moving filter feeding shark (sucking the water around it and then filtering the food) and the largest known living fish species. This extraordinary creature holds many records in the animal kingdom  for its sheer size, most notably for being by far the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate, rivaling many of the largest dinosaurs in weight. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 m (41.50 ft) and weighed more than 21.5 metric tons.  The name "whale shark" itself is derived from the fish's sheer size, being as large as some species of whales, and since it is, moreover, a filter feeder as most whales.

 

This unique fish has a mouth that can reach 1.5 meters wide, containing 300 to 350 rows of tiny teeth and 10 filter pads which it uses to filter feed. The head of a Whale shark is wide and flat with two small eyes at the front and five large pairs of gills. The color of a Whale shark is grey with a white belly. Their skin is marked with pale yellow spots and stripes which are unique to each individual.

 

The Whale shark is categorized as vulnerable in the endangered animal status issued by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).    

 

If elsewhere in the world divers consider themselves extremely lucky when they can meet one or a couple of these huge animals , in the Cendrawasih Bay the whalesharks come and stay around  in pods, and divers can swim along with them quite unharmed except to beware not to be hit by one of their powerful fins.

 

In the Cendrawasih Bay National Park, the whaleshark can be seen almost all seasons of the  year; thus becoming an exceptional phenomenon.

 

In the village of Kwatisore near the town of Nabire in the Cendrawasih Bay area, these giant fish usually gather around the floating platforms, called bagan, where fishermen normally haul in their catch of small fry.

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The Giant Whale shark: The Spectacular Wonder of Cendrawasih Bay in Papua

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