Photos - Critters Part 5
Dude, there's an octopus in my mask! Well, a pygmy squid, anyway.
A tiny pygmy has squid somehow managed to find its way into a scuba diver's mask.
Where are you?
Go free! You just knew those mask clearing skills you practiced in your certification course would become handy one day.
Squid, like its cousins octopus and cuttlefish, can control the color of each individual cell in their skin and change their color and pattern in milliseconds.
Squids hunt at night an often take advantage of divers' lights. They can put out dazzling color shows for scuba divers.
Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles. There are over 300 species of squid.
Two-toned Pygmy Squid
This one is two-tone pygmy squid, one of the smaller squids. What exactly is happening here, we're not sure. It almost looks like the poor squid is being attacked by a harlequin ghost pipefish.
Octopus blends into its surroundings. Octopuses together with cuttlefish are highly intelligent, possibly more so than any other invertebrates.
Over 120 species of cuttlefish are recognized.
Recent studies indicate cuttlefish are among the most intelligent invertebrates.
Mandarinfish is a brightly colored member of the dragonet family. It gets its name from its vivid coloration, evoking the robes of an imperial Chinese mandarin.
Pair of Mandarinfish.
Angelfish and butterfly fish look very similar. They have similar shapes and similar color patterns straight from the 1960's psychedelia. They are however easy to tell apart: angelfish does not fit into a frying pan, butterfly fish does.
Redtail Butterfly Fish
A juvenile Pinnate batfish approaching maturity. The young have a bright orange stripe outlining their entire body. As an adult the Pinnate batfish is silver in color.
Hermit crab carrying its home.
Starfish or sea stars have five or more arms. They are predators eating sponges, sea urchins and anything else that does not move very fast.
Bristle Tail Filefish
A juvenile bristle tail filefish pretends to be a leaf.
Flying gurnard spreads its "wings" when it gets excited. The wings are designed to scare away predators; not gliding in the air like the fins of flying fish. This photo was taken in Hong Kong.
Most starfish can regrow missing limbs.
Fly or a fish
Looks like a fly, but it is a fish.
Flower coral filefish
Flower coral filefish can alter their colour and pattern to match their surroundings.
Emperor shrimps live commensally on a variety of hosts, sometimes even on sea slugs.
Also called Spiny boxfish. A porcupine fish related to pufferfishes.
Gobies live in holes with snapping shrimps. The goby stands guard while the shrimp plays "housekeeper" to their burrow, continually digging and cleaning the sand. The goby signals when predators are near.
Orange-dashed Goby - two of them.
Goby and Snapping Shrimp
The snapping shrimp competes for the title of loudest animal in the sea. The shrimp, also referred to as pistol shrimp, has a specialized claw that it can shut extremely quickly to generate acoustic pressures strong enough to kill small fish.
Frogfish will change to match their surroundings. They lure their prey with a stalk between their eyes that copies the movements of its prey. Their mouth can open and expand to the width of their bodies to engulf its prey.
Seasnakes are extremely venomous. They are however very docile. The mouth is small and the fangs are far back so they don't usually pose a threat to scuba divers unless you are handling them.
Scorpionfish are masters of camouflage, enabling them to lie in wait for their victims to come close before attacking. They essentially suck the prey into their mouths. When disturbed they raise the spines along their backs. Scorpionfish will usually move off out of harms way. If cornered they are able to charge at considerable speed. They are highly dangerous with venomous spines along the back.
Nudibranchs come in various sizes and colors. The smallest ones are only a few millimeters, the largest over half a meter. That is a diver's finger for comparison.
From the very small to the very big... Whale shark is the largest fish in the world. They can grow up to 10-12 meters long. Having a chance to dive with them is a good reason to get certified.
Whale sharks pose no threat to humans. They are docile plankton eaters. There are more photos of whale sharks with and without scuba divers in Moal Boal photo album.
Sea anemones are animals even though they sometimes resemble a potted plan.
You can see the eyes developing.
Critters Part 5
The fifth installment of our scuba diving photos of various underwater critters. Big and small, familiar and strange creatures from around South East Asia.
Part 2 of our critter photo collection. More creatures we have encountered scuba diving.
Photos from a scuba trip to Moal Boal in the Philippines. Whale sharks, turtles, etc.