Updates & Media

Ctenophores Galore

September 29, 2014

Ctenophore floating thru the water column.

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Brightly colored sea stars are a regular occurrence on our survey dives. We only tend to notice them when we see a new and highly decorated species or dive a site where they are highly abundant. One survey dive we …

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Photographing the Great Barrier Reef…

September 28, 2014

Photographing the Great Barrier Reef Mission

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In 2003, my wife and I immigrated to Far North Queensland, Australia – gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Throughout the years, we take every opportunity to hop on a dive live-aboard or join scientific expeditions to spend as many …

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Sharks!

September 26, 2014

Blacktip Reef Shark

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Sharks are a natural component of coral reef ecosystems, where they occupy the role of top-order predators. Reef sharks are important to the overall health of the coral reef assemblage, and their presence is generally an indication of a coral …

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Surprise Encounter with an Olive Sea…

September 24, 2014

Olive sea snake hunts in crevices on the Great Barrier Reef.

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Let me tell you about yesterday’s wonderful (seriously) sea snake encounter while it’s still fresh in my mind. First of all, up here in the northern Great Barrier Reef we’re getting close to saltwater crocodile territory.  They can grow to …

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Threadfin Pearl Perch: A Gem of a Fish

September 23, 2014

Threadfin Pearl Perch

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As we travel across the Pacific Ocean during the course of the Global Reef Expedition we encounter many species of fishes on our survey dives. Many are widespread species that we see in most of the countries we visit though …

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Rugged Reefs

September 22, 2014

Measuring Reef Rugosity of the Great Barrier Reef

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Sitting at 25 m (82 ft) wrapped in a completely tangled metallic chain that would make Mr. T envious, I often ask, “What have I gotten myself into?” Indeed, one may wonder why anyone would want to take a long, …

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Stars of the Reef

September 19, 2014

Granular Sea Star, Choriaster granulatus

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The most familiar members of the phylum Echinodermata are the sea stars (aka starfish). Also contained within this phylum are diverse members such as sea cucumbers, crinoids, brittle stars, and sea urchins. Echinoderms possess an interesting body shape known as …

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Finding Fabulous Fish!

September 18, 2014

Fish Surveys of the Great Barrier Reef

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As fish surveyors, our job is to identify, count, and size all the fish we see within 30m x 4 m transect lines. To do this, we drop one end of our transect tapes at 10m depth, and swim slowly …

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The Fire Salps

September 17, 2014

Pyrosomes

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Several of us have encountered a free-floating colonial tunicate during our dives on leeward reefs.  Known as Pyrosomes (from the Greek, pyro = fire and soma = body), these unusual tunicates consist of cylindrical- or conical-shaped colonies made up of …

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Sessile Sea Squirts

September 16, 2014

Lissoclinum patellum tunicate.

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Tunicates, commonly called sea squirts include a diverse assemblage of invertebrates that are usually attached to the bottom, but also include 10 species that live in the water column.  These invertebrates share some similarities with vertebrates by having a tail, …

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