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2011-07-25

Nyuni, Tz, Batch #02 : Today, I swims with zee fishes

Title to be spoken in a menacing gangster-esque voice. "Sung Soprano", or something like that.


Went for a bit of a swim yesterday, but there is quite a current around high tide on the headland of the island, so I moved round to the south. Between wind and current there was quite a chop going - 30cm or more, which made snorkelling a less than comfortable occupation.
Fair amount of sea life, but I made no attempt at getting out to the reef margin - I'm really regretting not bringing my fins to Nyuni, but may have a Cunning Plan (TM, Pat.Pending).


Snorkelling in very shallow water, I was being constantly buffeted by the swell. So when I tried videoing things, the steadiness wasn't. No point in even thinking about shrinking them to something postable.
Firstly, these lobate or fan-shaped organisms (a major component of the biota :


I've named the file as if they're seaweed, but the more I think about it, the less I'm convinced. The colour isn't wrong for some algae (red photosynthetic organisms are nothing new), but the paleness of the colour ... doesn't make sense. They're thick enough to be more-or-less opaque, so why not absorb all the light you can in your waveband? Besides, I'm pretty sure that I've seen something similar common in UK waters, but can't find it in online compendia of algae ... therefore, it's probably not an alga. Could they be Bryozoa? But my memory tells me that Bryozoa have stiff meshes as a water filtering device. Rather like a stalk-less crinoid. Which doesn't really fit for these. [SHRUGs ; moves on]

I can't find these yellow-bar-fish in any online references either, but that's probably just the crudity of my search techniques. These wriggly things that go under the name of "alive fossils" don't really attract my attention until they've got fossilized. But this couple of "yellow-bar-fish" seemed to be defending the seabed hole against big ugly me. So once I'd taken a few photos, I moved on. (Without fins, holding station in chest-deep water against around a 1m/s current was a noisy affair.) There's a flashy fish in shot as well - brilliant reflections of "structural colour". I don't recognise either species.


THIS is what happens to people who look (too closely) at the small stuff. (American Scientist, v99#4 p311)
"Wow. A tube worm actually emerging from it's tube! Isn't this the most exciting thing you've ever seen?"
--
Aidan Karley

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