Moray eel // Family Muraenidae
Photo Credit: SCUBA // http://www.flickr.com/photos/maynard/
The most exciting thing we found was a large, dead seashell. Steve Firman, our ROV pilot extraordinaire, grabbed the shell with the manipulator arm of the ROV, and brought it on board for identification. We could have never expected what was going to happen.
When we picked up the shell from the ROV’s arm, to our surprise, a small octopus came out of the shell. It was a female that laid her eggs inside the shell. We put shell and octopus in a tank with seawater, and after one minute thousands of octopus larvae started to stream out of the shell. The octopus eggs were hatching! That was the first time we had observed such a magnificent show. The larvae were changing coloration from transparent with dark spots to brown, and swimming like squid – although on a millimeter scale.
We released octopus and larvae immediately after taking some photographs and video. Even on a featureless sandy plain one can find the perseverance of life. A good lesson in exploration: never hesitate to continue exploring, even when it seems you are not going to find anything.
Portuguese Man O’ War(s) (Phylum: Cnidaria // Class: Hydrozoa // Species: Physalia physalis) and Crab(s) (Infraorder: Brachyura) in a net filled with plastic marine debris.
Photo Credit: www.marinecreaturesstockphoto.com
Fiddler Crab. (Geoff Coe)
It looks like he’s shaking his claw in the air saying, “You damn kids, get off my sand!”
But what he’s actually doing is attracting his mate. During courtship, the males wave their oversized claws high in the air and tap them on the ground in an effort to attract females. Fights between males will also occur, which are presumably meant to impress the females; if a male loses his larger claw, the smaller one will begin to grow larger and the lost claw will regenerate into a new (small) claw.
Lemon Shark. (AlKok)
Side note: I got a bunch of asks today that I have yet to answer. But rest assured, I will! I’m not ignoring you. Haha. And I like to publish them, but I just don’t want to flood people’s dashboards.