Amazing creatures from the sea.
A female violet snail, Janthina janthina, is the most common species of bubble rafter.J. janthina is also the only bubble-rafting species in which females brood their young inside their bodies instead of laying egg capsules on their floats, Churchill noted."Scientists think this may be an adaptation to living at the ocean surface, because Janthina janthina's float is more buoyant and not weighed down by egg capsules."
Photograph by David Edgar I took this photo of an adolescent humpback whale in the South Pacific, several miles off the coast of Tongatapu, tonga. I captured this as a split-shot with half my dome port submerged, and the other above the surface. This playful whale came right up to me and looked directly into my eyes as the tip of his rostrum glistened in the afternoon sun. Looking closely, you can see Loni, our expert skipper, lining up a surface shot of this incredible encounter from the roof
A RARE SIGHT A palmate octopus (Tremoctopus gracilis), photographed near the Philippines, flashes her billowing membranes. Males of this species measure about 15 millimeters, but the females can stretch up to two meters — flashing shimmering skirts attached to their arms to ward off predators. Photographer Jinggong Zhang caught sight of this one during a night dive into deep ocean waters.
UNDERWATER PASTORAL A Galapagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) grazes underwater on red and green algae. Marine iguanas are the only lizards in the world that swim and forage in the ocean. Charles Darwin famously described them as “hideous looking,” but photographer Pier Mané saw fit to capture their unique aesthetic.
"A Maldivian anemone fish peeps out from its balled-up anemone home to see a school of fusilier fish streaming above. The photo was taken at dusk using inward lighting to isolate the anemone fish. The school of fusiliers were a welcome addition to the background! I saw them quickly moving around and positioned myself to catch them in the narrow beam of inward light."PHOTOGRAPH AND CAPTION BY THERESA GUISE
Before a larval flounder undergoes a spectacular metamorphosis into an asymmetrical juvenile, it is like any other fish fully symmetrical. It’s translucent body keeps it from preying eyes while it feeds on planktons swimming upright at the surface of the water. By six weeks, the transformation will begin with one eye migrating to the other and the juvenile settles to the bottom of the ocean floor as protection against predators. Photo credit: @gutsytuason
One of the most widely distributed snakes in the world, the yellow-bellied sea snake can be found in tropical oceanic waters except for the Atlantic Ocean. Highly venomous, they are "float-and-wait" predators, passively drifting in the water waiting for fishes to come near. Photo credit: @gutsytuason
Can there really be a living creature that’s over five centuries old? It may seem impossible, but scientists have discovered one such beast living in the Northern Atlantic Ocean: a Greenland Shark. It’s long been known that this particular shark is older than most, but scientists had no idea just how old he was until recently. Now that they’ve pinpointed his age to be 512 years old, he’s claimed the title of world’s oldest living vertebrate.
At 5 mm in length, this tiny Leaf-Sheep Nudibranch resembles a cartoon sheep and can be found in the waters of Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines. One of the only animals in the world that is able to photosynthesize, it grazes on green algae and incorporates the chloroplasts into its own body using it to create energy. Photo credit: @andreyryanskiy
The Crystal River area is considered the largest natural winter refuge in the world for manatees and is comprised of 70 springs, including Three Sisters Springs, where between 400 and 500 manatees have been sighted during the winter in recent years thanks to its ample vegetation and temperate waters.