Cunjevoi Pyura praeputialis by John Turnbull
Previously P. stolonifera praeputialis… this is one of the largest and most common ascidians in the intertidal zone. Commonly known as a sea squirt, as it squirts a long stream of water out when disturbed.
King of the Castle – Red cuttle Sepia mestus #marineexplorer by John Turnbull
Back in black – Oysters at Shiprock #marineexplorer by John Turnbull
My first photos were black and white. I remember the happy days of Ilford film and my darkroom, made from our converted laundry. Watching the picture emerge in the development tray. Back then, exposure and contrast were adjusted in the enlargement process, using timers and paper types. Today it’s much easier – so perhaps we forget the mystique of a B&W image. It adds a level of abstraction that makes you focus on the tones and patterns more than the subject.
Fish to invertebrate ratio #marineexplorer by John Turnbull
Whilst some ecologists dispute the idea of the balance of nature, I observe what I regard as “out of balance” communities on most dives. This shot, from a popular fished area, has hundreds of invertebrates for every fish… and even the one fish is tiny. Henry Head.
Sponges #marineexplorer by John Turnbull
Henry Head. 18 m deep.
Fish diversity #marineexplorer by John Turnbull
An interesting collection of species at Shiprock. They’re not really schooling together – just happen to be hanging out in the same place.
Rockpools at Oak Park #marineexplorer by John Turnbull
The complexity of habitat in the intertidal zone is clear in this shot – thousands of nooks and crannies for animals to shelter in. Oak Park
Gum tree hollow at sunrise #marineexplorer by John Turnbull
Why shouldn’t we knock down old growth native forest and re-plant it? One reason (among many) is tree hollows. Small hollows take around 100 years to form; large hollows take several hundred years. They are essential as nests and shelter for almost half of our native mammals, and a quarter of our native birds and reptiles. These species can’t wait hundreds of years until the next hollows form.
Nature’s natural vacuum cleaners – Oyster layer #marineexplorer by John Turnbull
Oysters feed by filtering the sea water. They were once so abundant that they would have contributed substantially to keeping our waters clean. Today, there are still some healthy patches, like these at Shiprock. Overharvesting, pollution and seawalls continue to threaten oysters, although they are being restored to some areas www.wrl.unsw.edu.au/research/oyster-reef-restoration-project
Chiton – Flexible coat of armour #marineexplorer by John Turnbull
Chitons are molluscs with a flexible coat of armour comprising eight plates. They are normally small and hide in cracks, like this one at Oak Park, although the biggest in the world is over 1 ft long