Amazing Underwater Creatures
From tiny macro animals, to the largest fish in the sea, we are very lucky to be located on Koh Lanta, an area with a huge abundance and diversity of tropical marine life.
Learn all about the wonderful animals we find underwater on our dives, including hard and soft corals, anemones, rays, an enormous number of fish species, sharks, shrimp, nudibranchs, turtles, snakes, octopus and so much more.
Our Marine Life Guide is not yet complete, but we already have photos of hundreds of species found diving around Koh Lanta. We will be adding more species every season, diving, photographing and writing about our amazing marine life.
Dive slowly and keep your eyes open - you never know what you might see...
Sharks & Rays
Elasmobranchii is the largest group of cartilaginous fish, containing Sharks (Selachii) and Rays (Batoidea). Unlike bony fishes, cartilaginous fishes have a skeleton made of cartilage, which is light-weight, flexible and durable, and only about half the normal density of bone. This lighter-weight skeleton allows cartilaginous fish to swim faster and use less energy than bony fishes.
Actinopterygii, the ray-finned fish are a subclass of the bony fishes. The fins of this type of fish are constructed from webs of skin supported by bony or horny spines. Ray-finned fish are the dominant aquatic vertebrates today, making up about half of all vertebrate species known. Any animal with a back-bone is called a vertebrate.
Turtles and Snakes
Reptiles are cold-blooded, air-breathing vertebrates (have lungs) with a bony skeleton and a body usually covered with scales or horny plates. Reptile reproduction lacks a larval stage (are usually egg-laying) and includes turtles, snakes, crocodiles and lizards.
Octopus, Cuttlefish & Squid
Octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus are all molluscs of the class cephalopod. Cephalopods are exclusively marine animals, with a prominent head, a set of tentacles and a common ability to squirt ink in times of stress.
Corals & Anemones
Although many people mistake corals and anemones as plants, they are actually animals called Anthozoa, which in turn belong to a larger group of animals called cnidarians that carry a sting in their tentacles.
Fire Corals & Hydroids
The Hydrozoa are a large group of solitary and colonial animals which have a complex life cycle which often involves an alternation between sessile (fixed in one place) polyp phase and a free-swimming medusa stage, similar to the True Jellyfish.
Crabs, Lobster & Shrimp
Decapod crustaceans are ten-footed (five pairs of legs) scavenging marine animals which include many familiar groups, such as crabs, hermit crabs, lobsters, and shrimp.
Slugs & Snails
The gastropods, more commonly known as snails and slugs are among the few groups of animals to have become successful in all three major habitats: the ocean, fresh water, and land.
Sea Stars, Urchins & Sea Cucumbers
Echinoderms get their name from the Latin for Spiny Skinned - Echinodermata. All Echinoderms have radial symmetry; a body construction which points outwards from the centre. This normally consists of more than 5 equal segments, each containing a set of various internal organs.
Clams & Oysters
Marine members of the Bivalvia class are molluscs that have laterally flattened bodies enclosed by a shell formed of two hinged parts. They include clams, oysters, mussels and scallops and most are filter feeders. The gills have evolved into specialised organs for feeding and breathing.
Sponges are some of the oldest known multi cellular animal inhabiting the earth and have been around for over 500 million years. They are one of the reefs most important sedentary inhabitants, filtering water through their porous bodies, ingesting nutrients as food and releasing essential nutrients back in the seas through their main cavity called the Osculum.
The Polychaeta are a huge group of marine worms, also known as the bristle worms or polychaetes. They are among the most common marine organisms. Polychaetes are multi-segmented worms living in all environments in the world's oceans. Most polychaete body segments bear a pair of parapodia (flat, lobelike outgrowths) with a dense cluster of tiny bristles and hooks called chaetae. The name polychaete actually means 'many bristles'.