Category Archives: Marine Life

Fade with the darkness

Butterflyfish fact
Butterflyfish Fact

At night, butterflyfish settle into dark crevices, and their brilliant colors and markings fade to blend with the reef background.

The butterflyfish are a group of conspicuous tropical marine fish of the family Chaetodontidae

Etymology
Chaetodontidae – The family name from Ancient Greek words χαιτέ, chaite ‘hair’ + οδοντος, odontos ‘tooth.’ This is an allusion to the rows of brush-like teeth found in their small, protrusible mouths.

Pretty in Pink

Beach Fact
Beach Fact

Pink Sand is thanks to a species of microscopic creatures call foraminfera

They live on the underside of reefs, and when their tiny red shells (test) wash ashore, they mix with bits of whit coral for a pretty pastel in pink.

Foraminfera are members of a phylum of amoeboid protists characterized by streaming granular ectoplasm for catching food and other uses; and commonly an external shell (called a “test”) of diverse forms and materials. Foraminifera typically produce a test, or shell, which can have either one or multiple chambers, some becoming quite elaborate in structure. These shells are commonly made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) or agglutinated sediment particles. Over 50,000 species are recognized, both living (10,000) and fossil (40,000). They are usually less than 1 mm in size.

Dying planktonic Foraminifera continuously rain down on the sea floor in vast numbers, their mineralized tests preserved as fossils in the accumulating sediment. Deep Sea Drilling, have been bringing up sediment cores bearing Foraminifera fossils. The effectively unlimited supply of these fossil tests and the relatively high-precision age-control models available for cores has produced an exceptionally high-quality planktonic Foraminifera fossil record dating back to the mid-Jurassic, and presents an unparalleled record for scientists testing and documenting the evolutionary process. The exceptional quality of the fossil record has allowed an impressively detailed picture of species inter-relationships to be developed on the basis of fossils.

Etymology
foraminfera – Latin for ‘hole bearers’

Walking along on my cuttlefish arms

Flamboyant Cuttlefish - Metasepia pfefferi
Flamboyant Cuttlefish -Metasepia pfefferi

Flamboyant CuttlefishMetasepia pfefferi
Due to the small size of its cuttlebone, it can float only for a short time. This cuttlefish is the only species known to walk or ‘amble’ along the sea floor while rhythmically waving the wide protective membranes on their arms. The arm tips often display bright red coloration to ward off would-be predators. This behavior advertises a poisonous nature, the flesh of this cuttlefish contains a unique toxin.

A toxicology report has confirmed that the muscle tissue of flamboyant cuttlefish is highly toxic, making it only the third cephalopod found to be poisonous. Research has shown the toxin to be as lethal as that of fellow cephalopod the blue-ringed octopus.

Etymology
Meta – Greek meaning “after” or “beyond” is a prefix used in English to indicate a concept which is an abstraction behind another concept, used to complete or add to the latter.
+Sepia – From Ancient Greek “to make rotten”), a cuttlefish, the secretion of a cuttlefish used as ink
Pfeffer – Georg Johann Pfeffer (1854–1931) was a German zoologist, primarily a malacologist, a scientist who studies mollusks.

Pink Pepé Le Pew

Pink Skunk clownfish - Amphiprion Perideraion
Pink Skunk clownfish – Amphiprion Perideraion

Pink Skunk clownfishAmphiprion Perideraion
The Pink Skunk is the only species of anemonefish to primarily feed on algae.

The magnificent sea anemoneHeteractis Magnifica – has two feeding methods. The first one is through the photosynthesis of its symbiotic zooxanthellae, living in its tissues, the second by capturing its prey with its tentacles that allow it to immobilize its prey (small invertebrates, fry or juvenile fish) See also https://marinebiology.org/2019/01/19/clarks/

Etymology:
Amphiprion: Greek, amphi = on both sides + Greek, prion, -onos = saw

This Orangutan also lives in a Bubble

Orangutan Crab in Bubble Coral, Achaeus japonicus in Plerogyra sinuosa
Orangutan Crab in Bubble Coral, Achaeus japonicus in Plerogyra sinuosa

Orangutan Crab Achaeus japonicus
“orangutan” comes from the Malay words “orang” (man) and “(h)utan” (forest).  Hence, “man of the forest,” and these crabs really seem to look like their Terra-based namesakes. Not only do they resemble Orang-utans with their hair, but they also seem to sway their front legs from side to side in a very good imitation of an this great ape!!
It is frequently, but not always, found in association with the bubble coral Plerogyra sinuosa

Etymology:
japonicus – Latin, literally ‘Japanese’
The Achaeus Greek  – Ἀχαιοί, were one of the four major tribes into which the people of Classical Greece divided themselves (along with the Aeolians, Ionians and Dorians)

Wrecks transformed into a fantastic garden of life

RMS Rhone propeller
RMS Rhone propeller and Silversides

Royal Mail Ship Rhone wrecked off the coast of Salt Island in the British Virgin Islands on 29 October 1867 in a hurricane. The rusting hull of a shipwreck provides provides the perfect platform for the development of a living reef . Almost immediately a ship comes to rest on the seabed an ecosystem will start to establish itself. Fish are usually the first to arrive at a new wreck, but are quickly followed by scores of other creatures. This ecosystem will eventually become varied and prolific, with an astounding number of different species often inhabiting a very small area. Many species need a foothold or place to hide in the fish-eat-fish world beneath the sea, and ships by their very nature contain a myriad of nooks and crannies that provide perfect homes for many of these critters. The wreck acts as a reef that will provide shelter for numerous species of fish and crustaceans, and the fact that they are usually raised from the sea bed makes ideal habitats for sea anemones, coral and fan worms, which feed by filtering the sea water as it flows by.

The stern section of the dive doesn’t offer too much in the way of penetration possibilities but probably has the most beautiful swim through of all wreck. Here is the stern of the ship with its propeller and rudder. The swim through also provides a protected area for the Hardhead silverside sardinesAtherinomorus stipes and Glassy sweeperPempheris schomburgkii to gather in great numbers.

Clownfish and its Tent

Clark's Anemonefish - Amphiprion Clarkii
Clark’s Anemonefish – Amphiprion Clarkii

Clark’s AnemonefishAmphiprion Clarkii
In a group of clownfish, there is a strict dominance hierarchy. The largest and most aggressive fish is female and is found at the top. Only two clownfish, a male and a female, in a group reproduce through external fertilization. Clownfish are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning that they develop into males first, and when they mature, they become females. They are not aggressive.

Magnificent Sea AnemoneHeteractis Magnifica
Venom present in sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica) induces apoptosis in non-small-cell lung cancer A549 cells through activation of mitochondria-mediated pathway. The longevity of in the wild is unknown, but estimated that some of these anemones are hundreds of years old. The Clarks Anemonefish lifespan is only 14 years. The reproduction of the anemone can be sexual by simultaneous transmission of male and female gametes in the water or asexual by scissiparity,which means that the anemone divides itself into two individuals, separating from the foot or the mouth. That makes me say “Hmmm, very impresive.