Whale shark and remoras

Whale shark and remoras


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Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) with several remoras (Echeneis naucrates) attached to its under side. The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, growing up to 18 metres in length. This harmless, solitary animal is found in tropical and warm waters throughout the world, except the Mediterranean. It is a filter feeder, straining plankton and small organisms from the water. Remoras have a symbiotic realtionship with large sea animals. They have a sucking disk on the top of their heads that they use to attach to their host. They clean the host's skin of parasites and eat left-over scraps. The host's presence protects the remoras from predators. Photographed in the Red Sea, Egypt.

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