Monday, July 27, 2009

Great Barrier Reef II

Despite choppy seas, 25-knot winds and ocassional rain showers during our 80-minute, 30-kilometer commute to the outer reef, the sun was shining bright on our arrival and snorkeling in the 75-degree water was as remarkable as anticipated.

A Red and Black Anemonefish, (amphiprion melanopus,) a species of anemonefish of which Nemo (a Clownfish, amphiprion ocellaris) is undoubtedly the most famous member!

Photo above by Katrine V-H (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Green Sea Turtle

Thanks to Kat for the use of her photo... below is my attempt at the same image :-(

Photo by Katrine V-H (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Jun, one of our Silverswift crew members, leads a snorkel tour on the reef. In this image above, he's holding a pineapple sea cucumber, one of several sea cucumber species found on the reef.

A male parrot fish (there are over 30 species of parrot fish on the GBR), scrapes away at the algae on the coral reef, scratching away a thin layer of the calcium as well. The calcium bits help digest the cellulose of the algae. The calcium is excreted in long streams of sediment. It is estimated that 30% of coral sand is old parrotfish poo!

Parrotfish are protogynous, beginning life as a female and are dark (almost black) in color. After eight years, their sex changes to male at which time they acquire their beautiful coloring.

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