Snorkeling in the caribbean


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Snorkeling in the Caribbean observing the fish and coral reef

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Snorkeling in the caribbean

  1. 1. Belize Forest and Marine Ecology SNORKELING IN THE CARIBBEAN
  2. 2. On our way out of Belize City for a full day of snorkeling.
  3. 3. Went past Frigret Island Home of the frigret birds
  4. 4. Getting wet! We were able to observe a huge variety of species while away from the touristy spots.
  5. 5. Blue tang at a cleaning station
  6. 6. Black Grouper
  7. 7. Blue Stripe Grunt
  8. 8. Blue Tang Fish
  9. 9. Butterfly Fish
  10. 10. What is coral, a plant or an animal?  A coral is made of tiny little carnivorous (meat eating) animals called polyps.  These polyps live in colonies.  Each polyp forms a little limestone case around it.  Coral reefs are made up of thousands of limestone cases around it.
  11. 11. Coral Reef- The coral is made up of tiny stinging cells. When an animal swims past this and brushes up against it, it kills the animal.
  12. 12. Coral can be soft or hard.
  13. 13. Brain coral
  14. 14. Stag horn and brain coral
  15. 15. Brain coral Some coral reefs can take hundreds of years to form.
  16. 16. Fan coral, brain coral
  17. 17. Elkhorn coral and yellow tail damsel fish Reefs provide housing and protection for thousands of animals.
  18. 18. Elkhorn coral
  19. 19. Feather duster worm
  20. 20. Gorgonia Coral
  21. 21. Fan coral is a soft coral.
  22. 22. Coral reefs have different shapes, this is determined by their environment and wave action.
  23. 23. As many as 200 kinds of fish can live in a coral reef. They range in size from 10mm to 20 meters long. Food for little fish is supplied there which attracts larger fish.
  24. 24. Coral reef provides nooks and crannies for fish to hide in.
  25. 25. Nudibranch Clinic
  26. 26. So much life in the tropics depend on coral reefs.
  27. 27. It is related to the jelly fish. A coral polyp is the size of a pearl. It is like a mouth with tentacles stuck to it. These coral live in colonies.
  28. 28. The coral skeleton is made up of calcium carbonate. It
  29. 29. Coral Bleaching What is coral bleaching? What causes coral bleaching?
  30. 30. Coral Bleaching  Is caused from the water being too warm, too low of tide, pH changes are a few reasons.  Global Warming causes the reefs to bleach and die out.  It results in the coral turning white and is a sign of the coral being stressed.  This can result in the coral dying.
  31. 31. Variety of Fish  Why is coral dying important?  Nearly all life in shallow tropical beaches depend on coral.  If the reefs die out , the fish die out.  Fish diversity dies out as well as the number of fish.
  32. 32. Here are some different kinds of fish encountered while we were snorkeling.
  33. 33. Parrot fish are one of the few fish that eat coral. What they excrete is partly sand.
  34. 34. Stop light parrot fish
  35. 35. Parrot Fish
  36. 36. French grunt fish
  37. 37. Grey angel fish
  38. 38. Grey Angel Fish
  39. 39. Grouper
  40. 40. Hog fish
  41. 41. Jake the Barracuda
  42. 42. Lion Fish
  43. 43. Although lion fish have a unique appearance they are a very invasive species.
  44. 44. Nassau fish
  45. 45. Queen Trigger Fish
  46. 46. Blue Tang Fish
  47. 47. Queen Trigger Fish
  48. 48. Queen Trigger Fish
  49. 49. School of jack fish
  50. 50. 4 Eyed Butterfly Fish
  51. 51. A close look at a ray
  52. 52. Sea biscuit
  53. 53. Seahorse
  54. 54. Spotted eagle ray
  55. 55. Spotted eagle ray
  56. 56. In Shark and Ray Alley Not a lot of different varieties of species found here! There are a lot of tourist !
  57. 57. Autumn gets a closer look.
  58. 58. Nurse sharks surround our boat. Our tour guide was attracting them by feeding them.
  59. 59. Octopus
  60. 60. Sea Turtle
  61. 61. Starfish
  62. 62. Storms rolling in
  63. 63. A first hand look at the waters of the beautiful Caribbean. (The waters are lacking plankton and accounting for their blue color.)
  64. 64. Full day of snorkeling
  65. 65. Special Thanks  A special thanks to my classmates in the Miami Dragonfly Belize 2013 Class for sharing their photographs.