Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dominica Expedition: The Beauty From Below

I promised more pictures (in the last post) and here they are. These pictures are of Dominica below the waterline.

This was a hermit crab I found while diving. I'm not sure what species it is--but I do know that there are around 800 different species of hermit crabs in the world!

This was a large male hawksbill turtle. He swam by us and then settled down in a little coral cave for a nap. 
[This species has also been photographed for this blog in Fiji.]

While on a night dive we found these creatures:

This organism was about the size of a grain of rice. When we looked right in front of our flashlights we saw a whole world of plankton. Tiny (almost microscopic) larval fishes would dart and dance about in the light beam. 

But the animal that stole the show was this:

REEF SQUID!!!!!! This little cephalopod hung around for quite a while. To my fascination it did not jet away when I presented my finger. Instead, it touched my finger and then hung around my dive mask. 

We watched it change patterns and colors and floated along with the squid for a long amount of time. I would like to be more specific but while marveling at the little guy we lost track of time as well as location. 

When we finally left the squid and surfaced we were about 200 feet away from where we thought we were! But no worries, we had plenty of air left to return safely to shore.