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- BLEACHING PICTURES 2016
A magic moment.
The male, on top of the female, but not to have sex, but to make sure no one else does while she is busy preparing the casing for her eggs.
The male extend his arms, in spiky shapes while a few smaller ones hand around for any opportunity to get a shot at the female.
The male constantly touches the female, rarely looses contact . two makes you bigger than one, in the eyes of predators as well.
We are talking here about cuttlefish, marvel of evolution with some unique design feature. Some of the best camouflage abilities from the entire animal kingdom, with such advanced features as pigment injection, light refraction changing device, surface color and shape recognition, although color blind, two eyes with no blind spot, 2 long extending tentacles for prey capture, jet propulsion, 3 hearts, intelligence to recognize non threat individuals from the same species.
The first reflex is to be scared, as they should be, since divers around here hunt them for food . But once they recognize you as a non hunter they will allow you to watch, and on occasion touch them, interact with mimics.
Today the female is laying eggs. She has chosen an old anchor covered with nets, seaweed, and encrustation forming a small cave.
She brings the eggs to her mouth, encase the egg in a bubble shaped like a teardrop with an extension filament that act as glue. She extend her tentacles to form a kind of funnel, introduce the funnel deep into the “cave” and with her propulsion engine blow the eggs in position, forming a cluster of about 40 to 50 eggs.
Each time she prepares the eggs for placement, the male stays on top of her, guardian to his future babies.
She goes back in reverse, and prepare her next eggs, while changing color and shape to match her environement.
She and her mate have now learned that I am only a peeping tom, and allow me to get closer and closer. I still can’t see the final attachement of the egg as it is too deep in the “cave”. I check the eggs, move out, and she keeps laying.
After about an hour, I return to attach a buoy to establish the location to set it up as a mooring. Both are still at it, this time they recognize me straight away and keep doing their business with interruption of their behavior. We do watch each other, and almost by telepathy eye to eye I depart, almost out of air, under some kind of hypnosis from the magic of evolution, with fascinated attention.
A new species for the area. Spotted for the first time, the lion fish are considered in part as an invasive species.
While the ocean is under pressure that is not decreasing, life does what it does, creates in the midst of adversity. baby coral taking hold, an old sweetlip that knows how to hide and knew i was no threat, flatworms finishing off their feast on a soft coral, a cowry shell continues to grow beauty.
All where taken in a single dive around Nikoi island.
The shifting sand has uprooted an alcyonarian. One flatworm on the picture is already having a feast. But what you don't see is that there are 3 more behind it, 30 meters away coming towards it.
How do they do it? telepathy?