Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Belize 2015 | Wildlife sightings

Aquarists from the New England Aquarium frequently travel to Belize as part of a long-term research program by Aquarium scientist Randi Rotjan, PhD, to monitor coral health near Carrie Bow Cay. Today's post by aquarist Joe Masi is part of a series about this research.

Carrie Bow Cay is such an amazing place and we are so fortunate to have these opportunities. Every once in a while you need to stop and appreciate the cool animals you might see at any given point.

Forget about the stingray shuffle, how about the scorpionfish shuffle. Can you spot the spotted scorpionfish, (Scorpaena plumieri)? Looks like the silversides can.  

We saw this Caribbean whiptail ray (Himantura schmardae) just about every day.
This juvenile will grow up to be 3-5 feet in diameter.

Another juvenile that spent a fair amount time around the island is this Lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris). Lemon sharks can reach lengths of 9.5 feet. It is common for juvenile sharks and rays to spend their early years in mangroves and in this case sea grass beds which surround part of the island.

If you enjoyed these wildlife pictures, check out previous trips to Belize!
  • Researchers most recently visited this past spring
  • See the beauty of hermit crabs and ride out a tropical storm during their 2013 trip
  • Learn more about threats to corals, plus signs of a late-night visitor to Carrie Bow Cay, in 2012
  • See what other researchers are up to at the research station in 2011
  • And read the exciting post where the marine protected area was announced in 2010

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