Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last ten 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.
Archive for the ‘Bony Fish’
Nov 20, 14 Comments Off
Good afternoon all, here’s another seldom seen fish called a Rusty Goby, Priolepis hipoliti that we found with the submersible below 200 feet. This is a mega tiny fish, this one here was only three quarters of an inch long and was super hard to photograph. These little reclusive treasures are found in shades of brown to red-brown to orange, iris is red to gold with green pupils. Their most distinctive features include orange spots on dorsal, tail and anal fins and about 9-11 wide dusky body bars. Although these fish are noted as common to South Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean, Northwestern Gulf of Mexico and Bermuda they are seldom seen as they often perch upside down on ceilings of small recesses in reefs or under rocks and boulders. As an adult in it’s terminal phase it will only reach a maximum length of a whopping inch and a half, no wonder they are seldom seen!
We had a fun but freezing cold night dive last night, we were both so glad to get back! We found some cool corals and giant anemones to shoot under the blue-light but never found the orange cup corals, not even sure how that is possible unless they plain don’t fluoresce under blue-light?
Off to go biking, have a great day all…
Nov 19, 14 Comments Off
Hi friends, I’ve been in the freezing cold, deep water labs all day photographing some beautiful fish and slit-shells that just came up last week. This is an adult Snow Bass, Serranus chionaraia from 300 feet and he’s only two inches in length! Ok, he may be small but this little sea bass makes up for his size with attitude! For example, we keep all the deep fish is separate small aquariums (so they don’t fight) and in order to photograph them I need to take them out of their temporary homes (one at a time) and put them in my photo tanks, not always an easy task! The second I put my little dip net in to grab him he went crazy jumping all the way out of his aquarium and into another, he was on fire! After seeing that I called in the experts, I don’t need to harm a mega $$$ fish just to get a photo. Once in my larger photo aquarium he immediately found a place to park and to calm down, I sometimes just leave them in there for an hour or so before even shooting them. This is just one of the many mega rare and desirable sea bass that we have here in Curacao, my favorites are still the Candy Bass which we also have in the deep labs right now all on their way to the States some time next week. Like many other deep-sea fish the full range of this species has yet to be established. In the wild they inhabit deep rocky areas mixed with sand and rubble and will eat just about anything like small crustaceans, shrimps and smaller fish.
Aimee and I are doing a fun blue-light night dive tonight starting at around 7:30 so I may have something new and fun for you all tomorrow!
Sorry so short, need to get home, grab some coffee and get back to work to prepare for the nights activities.
See you soon…
Nov 17, 14 Comments Off
Good morning from the Curacao rain forests! Since you last heard from me it has basically been raining and at times very hard! This is the official start of the rainy season and the island has gone from blow away in the wind dry to soaking wet green almost overnight! The downside to all the rain is the mosquitos and our mosquitos are the size of hummingbirds! We currently have a sickness that is sweeping the island called Chikungunya which is transmitted through infected mosquito bites! There are currently 25 Caribbean nations battling this sickness and many of our friends are home sick with it, we are keeping the doors shut at home and swinging our electronic zappers non-stop!
I have a very small juvenile Spotted Trunkfish, Lactophrys bicaudalis for your viewing pleasure today that I found last friday. These boxfish are more difficult to find than the Smooth Trunkfish and they are hundred times more shy! We rarely see these little two inch juveniles, they really stay hidden and even as adults avoid divers, which is funny because their cousins the smooth trunkfish are everywhere and very curious.
So good news, we found a home for our flightless parakeet. We spent friday evening getting his giant cage downstairs (what a major task), cleaning it and then on saturday loading it in the back of a borrowed pick-up. Then at 1:00 driving him and his dwelling out to a bird sanctuary of sorts to be with others of his kind. A photo was sent to me this morning of him in his cage with two others, this is the first time since we rescued him that he has had room-mates, it’s a wonderful thing!
Biking has been difficult as of late with all the rain, my trails are pretty flooded so I am sticking to just riding on the road, not a whole lot of fun!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Mom, will try to call her this evening and she what she did on her special day!!
Have a great day all!!
Nov 12, 14 Comments Off
Good afternoon folks. I have some baby/juvenile Striped Parrotfish, Scarus iserti for your viewing pleasure today. Like most parrotfish these little sweethearts will go through four different stages and color changes in their life starting with larval, juvenile (above), initial and a terminal phase. Juvenile Striped Parrotfish can be seen just about anywhere here on the Curacao reefs. They are usually found in groups of mixed species of the similar age and for the most part appear unconcerned. They constantly stop to scrape algae from rocks and corals giving you photographers ample time for those seemingly hard to get photos. After a few weeks these little two inch juveniles will start their 1st changes into adulthood starting with a yellow tail and the yellow disappearing on their nose and forehead. Then comes the major change with most of the browns disappearing being replaced with beautiful shades of blue, yellows, pinks, and some serious beautiful aqua highlights, parrotfish are just plain cool! In most pictures you will find on the web it looks like they have white stripes but this is because the camera flash destroys the light blue color that is supposed to be there. Shooting at a higher F-stop and a little less light one should be able to capture their real colors.
We got up early today and took off to Saint Joris bay to walk the dogs and to some beach combing and as usual we packed home a bunch of little beach treasures. Well one piece wasn’t so little, it was a six foot piece of driftwood in the shape of a long, hollowed out bowl that will look super cool on legs, we couldn’t resist! The dogs had a great time and are now in air-co heaven having puppy dreams, Inca’s foot is finally back to normal but Indi has some kind of weird skin infection that we are trying to fight, it’s always something!
We are planning on doing a fun blue-light night dive tonight so I need to get all that gear ready to go which will take quite awhile!
Stay warm out there friends……….
Nov 11, 14 Comments Off
Good morning friends, here’s a few more “fish faces” for your viewing pleasure today that I got yesterday morning right here on our own Substation house reef! Most of you know that for the past year I have really trying harder than usual to get some fun fish face photos but as it turns out these are the hardest photos I have ever tried to shoot! Why you ask?? Go ahead ask why!! Fish are not prone to look a diver or a potential predator in the face, they just want to flee! I spend most of my dives in hot pursuit and mostly taking tail shots. Occasionally a fish will stop and if curious look at the camera for a fraction of a second and if said photographer is ready and if your settings are correct you could end up with some kind of fun whimsical fish face expression. Most important, you will need patience! Ask yourself before entering the water, do you want 100 so-so photos or 10 really great ones?? I am almost ashamed to say how long I have “tailed a fish” (no pun intended) with my eye glued to the housing waiting for that perfect shot and many times I return without anything!
For you camera minded individuals, these were shot at 160/F25 using two DS-160 Ikelite strobes, Ikelite housing and a Nikon D-800. I started shooting the fish faces with much more depth of field over the past year because as you can see in the top photo, that’s a long fish! If I were to use F8 for instance on that shot only his eye would be in focus and the mouth would be out of focus or the other way around, his mouth would be sharp and the eye not, using a larger F-stop means more detail. And yes as many of you are thinking, a larger F-stop means more light, this is correct! If you shoot manual like I do then just adjust your light output on the strobes a little at a time or for the rest of you your built in TTL metering should do the trick.
So much to do….
Have a great day!!
Nov 10, 14 Comments Off
Good afternoon all, I did an early morning dive that lasted an hour and 45 minutes and I’m still trying to catch up on my monday “to do list”! I have a super cool little sea bass for you all today called a Harlequin Bass, Serranus tigrinus. These are such beautiful, curious little fish and they only get to around three and a half inches in length! The Harlequin Bass is an unusual striking yellow and black mottled mottled color on the ventral side, with black and white mottling on the dorsal half. These common sea bass inhabit low-profile reefs, coral rubble and sea grass and hunt for small crustaceans in pairs just above the bottom. This one here opened his mouth wide a few times as if to say “your boring me” or “you want some of this”?? Either way I kept shooting and finally did leave, they are very territorial fish!
So how was the weekend out there?? I’m getting reports of real live winter conditions in many parts of the World but NOT here! We are having some of the hottest most humid weeks this year and let me tell you I would love a little of the cold stuff at this point! I spent a good part of my weekend visiting all my Geocaches and collecting the containers. I have decided that after four years of constantly attending to these Geocache containers that I am done with it! I closed six of them so far, I only have three left and only one that is at the World famous Dive Bus Hut will stay active, the others are out of here! Along with the Geocaches I did some great walks with the dogs and we visited an old inlet on the North coast that was a complete mountain of driftwood! So much in fact you could only see what was on the outside and no way to dig through it without being injured! I brought home a few pieces that will go into our collection and will for sure go wherever we do. Yesterday I left the house at 3:15 in the heat of the day and took off on a long hot 30 mile mountain bike ride and was completely soaked to the bone when I got home, not a fun time of the year to visit the Caribbean! For New Years Eve this year we are leaving the fireworks behind and going camping while friends stay at our house for the night. I found a beautiful “secret garden” of sorts this weekend in a densely wooded area that is just begging for a tent, it will be a perfect place to camp!
Have a great monday….
Nov 6, 14 Comments Off
Good morning from wet Curacao!! The rains started at around 2:00 this morning and it’s still going, we have very overcast skies at the moment. Aimee took off out the desert early to feed the birds and to see if she could spot her little pigeon she released a few days ago but no “for sure” spotting.
I did a fun night dive last night starting at around 8:00 and took the macro lens as my weapon of choice. I ran across so many sleeping parrotfish last night, (more than normal) and started shooting away, a sleeping fish is an easy subject to photograph. The top two photos show how parrotfish secrete mucus (from their mouths) to form a sleeping bag or cocoon of sorts that covers their whole body and protects them from the creatures of the night, like eels for instance! I’ve noticed that the parrotfish that secrete the mucus are always in the shallows (above 20 feet) and wedge themselves deep into the rocks more than the parrotfish on the reef that just lay out in the open with no mucus sack as seen in the last photo. The third photo shows a smaller parrotfish laying flat on one side using just camouflage as a hiding technique and again feels there is no need for a mucus cocoon.
Lots of thunder outside, I guess our monsoon season has officially arrived!
Thanks for all the wonderful compliments in the past weeks, you all are wonderful!
See you soon…
Nov 5, 14 Comments Off
Good morning all, remember a week ago when I posted the story about the giant porcupinefish we saved on the beach?? Here is the link to that story if you didn’t get to read it…
Well this looks just like the one we saved and is about the same size except this one is our buddy who lives out on our reef in front of the Substation and we see him just about every time we go out! I mean really talk about a fish with a great expression!! You can easily see why these giant odd shaped swimmers are one of my hands down favorites and why divers love them so much!! Photos like this are made possible thanks to our friends at Ikelite who make the Worlds finest strobes and housings for your underwater photography pleasure! And NO you don’t need to spend $10,000 on a camera, housing and strobes to get these type of photos, Ikelite has a housing for just about any brand of point and shoot camera and all you need is a strobe or two to go with it! It’s really all about light!
And since we are on the subject of Ikelite, check out our new DEEP SEA STAMPS that they posted on their site yesterday at www.ikelite.com And since your there check out the drop down menu at the top that says “INSPIRATION”. Here you will find articles and tutorials, video’s and galleries, photos school and the Ambassadors. Those of you with GoPro’s will loose your mind when you see the sexy tray and VEGA video lights that are just bgging to be wrapped for Christmas, I love my set more than anything and use them everyday! Here is the link for those, http://www.ikelite.com/lighting/2107.2-vega-dual-kit-gopro-flex.html
Getting ready for a blue-light dive this evening and can hardly wait, have a great day!!
See you soon,
Oct 28, 14 Comments Off
Good morning all, this a juvenile Blue Tang, Acanthurus coeruleus that I found on the reef at around 50 feet a few days ago. This little golden treasure is only around an inch and a half in length and when older will loose this yellow color and turn completely dark blue and be much larger up to 15 inches. If you look close at his lower fin near the back you will see a “big bite” has been taken out of his fin most likely he came close to being eaten! When older these fish can change colors in the blink of an eye from power blue to deep purple, it’s one of those crazy things you have to see to believe! The dorsal and anal fins will always be edged in bright electric blue but as I said before the yellow color will disappear. People always ask how do you tell a Blue Tang from an Ocean Surgeonfish as they look so similar. The easiest way is to look at their shape, the Blue Tangs are much more circular as you see above and the Ocean Surgeonfish are more of an oval shape. Changes from juvenile to intermediate and adult color phase do not depend on size, and occasionally a yellow phase juvenile may be larger than a blue phase adult although this is very rare to ever see. These fish are abundant to common in Florida, Bahamas and the Caribbean, also Gulf of Mexico, north to new york, Bermuda and south to Brazil. Blue Tangs can be solitary but more often can be seen in large aggregations (schools) foraging about shallow reef tops grazing on algae. These large aggregations usually contain a mixture of the Blue Tangs and the Surgeonfish and any other fish that wants to join in the feeding frenzy!
We had a great day off yesterday!! We left the house at 6:30 am and drove to a flamingo viewing area on the south side of the island called Willibrordus and hiked to the ocean along the edge of Jan Kok bay. This is part of the Extreme mtn bike race so I was able to get some much needed trail work done in an area I hardly ever drive to. While I cut tree limps and swept thorns off the trail the dogs swam and played while Aimee collected drift wood and took photos, it was a beautiful morning and we ended up staying for four hours! By the time we got back to the car the dogs were completely worn out and slept the whole way home which took around 30 minutes. After we washed the dogs and the car I took off out to Stijns house and loaded up my stash of driftwood and drove it out to Saint Joris and donated it all to the wind-surfing community to use in building a little surfers village of sorts. I had so much wood that it took two trip, not real fun! Then later in the day at around 4:00 I took off in the heat and got in my 25 mile ride back out to Saint Joris and then to top the day off met some friends for dinner in downtown Curacao, what a day!!
I am off to the sea………..
Have a great day…
Oct 28, 14 Comments Off
Good morning friends, I had another nice dive yesterday morning but failed in bringing back any new “fish face shots” which I am trying so hard to get at the moment. When I first went out I parked myself at another cleaning station but as hard as I tried could not get the shot I wanted and after 10 minutes gave up! I then moved on slowly down the reef staying at around 45 feet looking for anything new to post on the blog. I then came across this small Goldentail Moray eel, Gymnothorax miliaris that you see above poking his head out from behind a blade of fire coral and of course I had to stop. These beautiful eels are one of the most curious and easiest to photograph of all the morays in the Caribbean, it’s like they love the camera! This one here may have seen his reflection in my dome or just wanted to come out and say hi, he was so cool!
These moray eels can be found in shades of brown covered with small yellow spots (size of spots can vary considerably between individuals and, on rare occasions, are reversed, with yellow under color and brown spots, or a net-like pattern). The Tip of the tail which you can’t see here is yellow to gold on most individuals and there is a beautiful yellow ring around pupils which you can see in this photo. These animals are common to occasional in the Caribbean, occasional Bahamas, uncommon in Florida, also northwestern Gulf of Mexico, Bermuda and south to Brazil. They prefer shallow to mid-range reefs. They hide during the day in recesses; heads often extended from openings (like you see above). These eels are known to forage in the open during the day and like other eels constantly open and close their mouths, an action required for respiration, this is not a threat!
Well gang, hope all is well out there, I may jump in for another morning dive and need to do some bike work before my ride tonight.
Have a great day!!
Oct 27, 14 Comments Off
Good morning friends, I have a super cool shot for you today of an adult Blue Tang, Acanthurus coeruleus stopped at a cleaning station being cleaned by eight juvenile Bluehead Wrasses, Thalassoma bifasciatum. So what’s going on is this beautiful Blue Tang is taking time out of his busy day for a little personal grooming or cleaning as we call it. Most fish generally swim around until they spot a “Certified Cleaning Station”, they then either just stop or point their heads upwards towards the surface and just wait for the cleaning fish or shrimps to come to them. Here you see the yellow juvenile Bluehead Wrasses racing all around our happy customer in search of any little tid-bit of food that might be hanging on the outside of his body or many times stuck or caught inside the mouth. These little fish are such a major part of the wellness of the reef as they act as cleaners, removing parasites and debris from larger fish. Without this free service many fish would become sick and die from infection or disease. Many fish like this Blue Tang tend to be so caught up in the moment that they can often be caught with their guard down giving a quiet diver the chance for closer approach.
Late yesterday afternoon we loaded up the dogs and took off to Saint Joris Bay which is a big lagoon or bay of salt water fed by the open ocean. This is where I get most of my driftwood and it’s a favorite place for the dogs because of all the little beaches and places to swim. While walking along an area thick with mangroves we found what we first thought was a dead giant porcupinefish (fully inflated) wrapped in a t-shirt washed ashore high on the beach. Aimee’s first response was “poor ballooonfish” and I just wanted to cry as this is one of my favorite of all the fish in the sea. She continued to walk past and I bent down just to uncover it a bit to see what it looked like and as I did it’s little fin moved! I screamed, it’s still alive!! I quickly picked up the animal still wrapped in a black t-shirt and ran into the water at top speed followed close by two now very excited dogs! This was a monster sized porcupinefish, he was around a foot and a half long and since he was puffed up he was the size of a basketball. I first removed the shirt which was difficult as all his spines were poking through it and with no gloves this was not an easy task! Once the shirt was gone I then did my best to hold him underwater but I could instantly tell he was over-inflated with air most likely from being onshore all day! I screamed to Aimee who was onshore to go find a big container because I think we will have to take him back to the aquarium and release the air in his belly with a needle. He was so full of air that he could not stay right side up and was really struggling to swim. I then started holding him underwater with both hands (remember his spines are out and he’s poking me) and every few minutes I would tilt his body straight up expelling bubbles of air out of his mouth, almost like burping him. This was starting to work and after 30 minutes he was finally able to stay underwater by himself, it was so exciting! Aimee returned with a great container but I told her I think he’s doing alright and just to wait. I continued to reach underwater and gently pick him up and tilt him up to keep releasing any air and finally no more came out. I was now holding the side of his body and pushing him forward to get water into the lungs and that really did the trick, all of a sudden he deflated all his spines and went back to being a normal fish and he slowly swam off!!! Talk about a great feeling, I yelled to Aimee. “he’s gone”, how cool is that!? I really believe the shirt that he was caught in and almost killed him also saved him by keeping him wet all day in the sun, it really kept him from drying out. So once again you never know what you will find along the shores of the Caribbean, so glad we were there to help!
I also pre-rode the 40 mile Extreme mountain bike race course again yesterday which we did in under three hours this time. I ended up having to take my new 27.5 Scott because my Epic was down with tire problems. For anyone wanting to join I will be doing the Extreme route every Sunday morning until the race in December, your welcome to join.
I’m off the sea, have a great day!
Oct 24, 14 Comments Off
Good morning friends, it’s FRIDAY!! Yesterday morning I came into work and quickly set up my underwater rig with the 105 macro and set out for a long hour and forty minute dive! I was immediately greeted by my cloud of hundreds of shimmering Boga’s which are always so curious and it’s like they feel safe with me out there knowing I will chase away any of their lurking predators like the crazy amber jacks. The water was pretty darn clear yesterday making the whole dive seem like you were in a giant fish bowl and there was a bit of current but that can be used to one’s advantage. I lucked out and found not one, not two but three beautiful Scrawled Filefish, Aluterus scriptus (above) all out looking for breakfast and figured I would follow at a safe distance in hopes of some kind of photo opportunity. These fish are completely amazing!! They can change colors in the blink of an eye and have that cool spine at the top of their head that they can raise or lower depending on the level of danger present. As you can see from the top photo these are also very thin fish, they can swim through about any crevice which can make following them difficult at times. I ended up hanging out with this beautiful trio for almost an hour, it seems like the more time you hang out with them the more they seem to trust you which in the end allows for better photo opportunities. If you look closely at the top photo you will see how both eyes are looking in different directions, I mean is that cool or what?? Reminds me of a flounders eyes!
Aluterus scriptus is a medium size fish which can grow up to 3-feet in length. The body shape looks like an elongated oval, strongly compressed. Its background body coloration is olive-brown or grey depending on its surrounding environment, irregular blue lines and spots are distributed on the body mixed with some black spots mainly on the head. The mouth is small and at the end of its pointed snout. Like all the Tetraodontiformes, it has no pelvic fin but has two particular dorsal spines; the first anterior one is long, slender and erectile, located just over the eyes, the second is small and not easy to see but it locks the first one when it is erected. The rounded caudal fin is quite long and can be displayed as a fan. The juveniles have a yellow with black spots body coloration.
Aluterus scriptus is omnivorous and have a large choice for its meals like small crustaceans, algae, gorgonians, anemones, tunicates, fire coral…
Off to the sea again, have a wonderful day and a great weekend!!!
Oct 23, 14 Comments Off
Good morning all, I had a few people asking this week about our resident school of Boga’s, Inermia vittata and how they are doing so yesterday while out with the submersible I snapped a few photos just for you. The group or school has tripled in size over the past few months and everyday now I spend swimming amongst them and taking their photos before the submersible arrives. These beautiful fish are so calm with divers, you can slowly enter the school and they will then completely surround you and be just inches from you showing no alarm at all. These fish are around 5-9 inches in length and can be found in depths of 30-150 feet. I would love for some of my friends back home to join me swimming thru this large school, it’s so cool to be surrounded by so many fish, I will try and shoot some video for you. Most of my diving buddies will tell you how rare it is to see big schools of fish in Curacao and when you do come across such a site one usually tends to follow in hopes of being totally engulfed in fish! These Bonnetmouths/Boga’s are also one of the few fish that can be closely observed with a slow, non-threatening approach.
Not sure I told any of you or not but on the 31st of this month I have a pane of deep-water fish being issued as Curacao stamps, cool huh?? I will send a photo of them on the release date so be on the lookout for those, your going to love it!
Got in a fast 25 mile mountain bike ride last night, rode from the Sea Aquarium to Vaersenbaai and back, not a ton of fun but did get some miles in.
Have a great day…
Oct 20, 14 Comments Off
Good morning friends, we started our Caribbean morning out with a massive tropical downpour and we are loving it!! These next few months are typically our wet months and it’s looking like we are off to good start which is great for the island, bad for mountain biking!
This morning when I got to work I took off directly into the water for an early morning dive, what better way to start out a monday right? I immediately found a full size 12-inch long Glasseye Snapper “Blotched Bigeye”, Heteropriacanthus cruentatus motionless alongside a coral wall and moved in very slowly for just a shot of his big beautiful eye that looks like glass, thus the name. These bigeye fish often hide in dark recesses of the reef by day and are active at night. During the day when out diving I see these fish quite often just chilling under rocky ledge’s displaying their striped daytime colors and for the most part could care less about a passing diver.
The Glasseye Snapper inhabits shallow reefs and spends its days hiding in or at the entrance to caves. They are nocturnal and feed at night on zooplankton such as shrimp, larval fishes, and small squids and octopuses.
This snapper can be recognized by its reddish coloration, large eye, relatively symmetrical body shape, and by the small elliptical spots on the soft dorsal, anal and caudal fins. It has a scaleless preopercular margin that is covered with small ridges.
H. cruentatus is the only species in the genus Heteropriacanthus.
So how was your weekend out there??? Mine was fairly busy and a lot of fun. Saturday morning I took both dogs for a long overdue walk to the North coast in search of driftwood and we hit the jackpot! I was shocked at how much new wood had floated in over the past few months and it was a blast looking through it all. I actually found so many nice pieces that I had to leave a big pile hidden out in the desert, not sure when I will be able to get back out there now to pick it after these crazy hard rains. While I collected driftwood the dogs ran around chasing each other on the beach and explored every nook and cranny, tired dogs are good dogs! On Sunday I pre-rode the 40 mile extreme mountain bike race course and pretty much hated every minute of it! Not only was it 75% uphill and blowing wind it’s mostly on dirt and paved roads, not much of a mountain bike race! After the ride I spent the rest of the day working on my “honey do list” and hiding from the heat, I never would have guessed rain like this was coming! That’s the island news in short, have a great week friends!
Oct 15, 14 Comments Off
Good morning folks, This is another extreme close-up I shot yesterday with the ever faithful 105/2.8 macro shot at 160/F22 and 2-strobes on half power. Geez talk about a fish with a mouthful of teeth!! I had some questions about parrotfish teeth and found a little more information for you.
Parrotfish are so-called because their fused teeth give their mouths a beak-like appearance. These teeth are situated outside the jaw bones, so the beak protrudes beyond the mouth. This is perfect for scraping algae from the surface of rocky substrates, but can also get past one of the algae’s defenses — growing within the matrix of the coral itself. In some species, such as the hump-headed parrotfish, the beak can take a chunk out of the reef itself. Interestingly, although the parrotfish eat the polyps themselves, these herbivorous fishes are probably primarily Interested in the zooxanthellae contained within the coral’s tissues, rather than the coral itself.
To counteract their tough diet, parrotfishes teeth grow continuously. But those that form the beak are not the only teeth that these remarkable fish have; the plate-like pharyngeal teeth towards the back of the mouth can bring considerable crushing force to bear, pulverizing even the tough limestone. After this, the coral’s resistance is at an end. In the fish’s gut, living tissue is separated from the limestone rubble and powder. This ground material is ejected by the parrotfish as fine, white grains, which makes up a considerable proportion of the highly prized white sand found in coral reef lagoons and beaches!
Great information from….
Aimee and I took the dogs to Vaersenbaai early this morning before work and finished the new trail, it’s now rideable but still needs to be cleaned up.
We have a late submersible dive today and I will most likely head out now to hunt for more photos for you all.
Have a great day..