ABOUT

Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last 12 years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest.

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Archive for June, 2013

Jun 28, 13     Comments Off on Baby Bottlenose Dolphin, Baby Dolphins, Dolphins

Good afternoon readers, a beautiful momma and baby dolphin shot for you today! These are always a crowd pleaser…who doesn’t love a baby dolphin? These two are Tela and Serena. Serena is quite young here, only about 6 weeks old. Serena is now 14 months old and doing great! Dolphin grow very quickly in their first years. When they are born they are about 30 pounds, and by the first year more than 100 pounds! They also need to be advanced in their motor skills right away because of course they need to swim, nurse underwater, come to the surface to breath, dive etc. Whew! It would tire us out! Tela is such a great momma. If you remember, Pasku was her first calf. Pasku is now4.5 years old, and a busy juvenile, playing around with all the gang. Mothers will usually take care of their baby for 2-3 years  which will include nursing and getting many lessons in how to be a dolphin. Dolphins are socially complex, so there is much to learn.  And, Tela is a great momma to learn from. So, there is your dolphin information for the day! Have a great one and sunny skies from Curacao!

Barry

Jun 27, 13     Comments Off on Southern Stingray, Dasyatis americana, Stingrays
Jun 26, 13     Comments Off on Spotted Moray Eel, Gymnothorax moringa, Eels
Jun 25, 13     Comments Off on Caribbean Reef Octopus, Octopus briareus

 

Jun 24, 13     Comments Off on Batwing Coral Crab, Carpilius corallinus, True Crabs
Jun 21, 13     Comments Off on Flying Gurnard, Dactylopterus volitans, Fish with Wings
Jun 20, 13     Comments Off on Global Warming, Coral Reef Decline, Coral Disease

I asked him is there anything we as divers or concerned reef people can do about this bacteria but he said unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done about it. He added: It’ll grow when the conditions are right. Often cyanobacteria have toxic compounds, so the usual grazers (fish, urchins) tend to leave them alone. Many can fix nitrogen so that can give them an advantage to outcompete the other algae. I’m not saying that these species are doing that, but it is likely. Even if this cyanobacteria mat doesn’t kill the coral outright, it will stress out the corals who have to continuously keep their surfaces clean of debris. Any of these stresses (e.g. higher water temps, higher nutrients in the water, acidification) add up and can kill the coral. Bleaching occurs when conditions are so bad that the symbiont algal cells – zoothanthellae – leave the tissue of the coral polyp. Without this endosymbiont dinoflagellate, the bleached coral will die eventually. If conditions get better soon enough, the zoothanthellae can recolonize the host coral.

I am going out on the reef today to watch and photograph the coral experts as they do what they can to find out what is going on and why these corals are declining so fast and to see if there is anything I can be doing as a diver, I will keep you posted.

Do something wonderful today!! Barry

 

Jun 18, 13     Comments Off on Blue Tang Aggregations, Tug Boat Dive Site, Curacao

We have a sub dive this morning at 9:00 with three guests so I need to get my gear ready to go, while I am down there I will bring back some little algae covered rocks for my deep-water crabs that love that stuff!

Off to the sea, Barry

Jun 18, 13     Comments Off on Redlip Blenny, Ophioblennius macclurei, Blennies

 

 

Jun 17, 13     Comments Off on Baby Dolphins, Baby Bottlenose Dolphin Underwater

Good morning from windy Curacao!! Yes, the wind continues to blow and the ocean is as rough as it gets, not the best time of the year for diving here. So how was your weekend out there?? Mine was like a scene from Groundhog day and was pretty much the same as last weekend so I will just say it went fast and it was fun! We did go to dinner at Stijn’s grand parents house Saturday evening and ate like Kings and Queens! She made assorted dishes from white asparagus that were out of this World and would be well received at any restaurant on the planet.

Here’s a baby dolphin for my poor neglected dolphin friends out there, you know we still love you!! This is Tela and her new little girl, at less than one month old. Baby dolphins are often in this position, below momma. In this position they can swim in the slip stream, saving valuable energy, hardly swimming themselves at all. It is also common for the baby to bump into the mammary glands of their mother, stimulating a milk letdown, and then the calf will nurse. You can see the mammary gland bump just over the shoulder of this infant. Baby dolphins will nurse for 2-3 years, although at about 8-12 months they will begin eating some fish as well. Toothed whales in general, and bottlenose dolphins in particular, stay with their mothers for such a extensive time for social learning reasons. They actually learn how to be dolphins, much like young humans do. They will learn how to hunt, interact with others of their group, avoid predators etc. It has even been shown that specialized hunting techniques are passed down from mother to calf through the generations.

Have a wonderful day, Barry

Jun 14, 13     Comments Off on Longfinger Purse Crab, Iliacantha subglobosa, Crabs
Jun 13, 13     Comments Off on Entemnotrochus adansonianus, Pleurotomariidae
Jun 12, 13     Comments Off on French Angelfish, Pomacanthus paru, Angelfishes
Jun 11, 13     Comments Off on Soapfish, Greater Soapfish, Rypticus saponaceus

I have one of the strangest fish on the planet for you all today called a Greater Soapfish, Rypticus saponaceus. These fish crack me up!! On any given dive you find these odd looking fish laying around in the open acting like they are completely hung over! This one here was sprawled out high atop one of the pillars in Bonaire and never moved a muscle and NO he was not dead, I knew you were thinking that!

The Soapfishes Body is elongated with a rounded dorsal fin. Their color is mottled, varying from drab reddish brown to gray, often with a green or blue cast. They also have pale spots, about the size of the pupil or smaller, on body and dorsal fin.

The family Soapfish contains about 24 species of marine fishes constituting the tribe Grammistini (family Serranidae; order Perciformes), occurring from the Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific region. In appearance, they are characterized by a reduced spinous dorsal fin and a slightly protruding lower jaw. The name soapfish refers to their ability, when agitated, to produce a toxic body mucus that forms a slimy, soapsudslike froth upon its secretion into the water. The toxic mucus serves as a deterrent to predators. All soapfishes are small, the largest attaining lengths of about 30 centimetres (1 foot).

The greater soapfish (Rypticus saponaceus), the best known member of the group, is found in the Atlantic from the southern United States and northern South America to West Africa. The species is characterized by three distinct dorsal spines and is sometimes called the three-spined soapfish.

I have to be under the sea in under an hour and have so much to do!!

Have a wonderful day, Barry

 

Jun 10, 13     Comments Off on Endangered Staghorn Coral, Acropora cervicornis

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