Category: SCUBA

Two cuttles and a barnacle – Sepia plangon #m…

Two cuttles and a barnacle - Sepia plangon #marineexplorer

Two cuttles and a barnacle – Sepia plangon #marineexplorer by John Turnbull

Via Flickr:

Clifton Gardens, Sydney Harbour

Every day’s a bad hair day. Striate ang…

Every day's a bad hair day. Striate anglerfish - Antennarius striatus #marineexplorer

Every day’s a bad hair day. Striate anglerfish – Antennarius striatus #marineexplorer by John Turnbull

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Clifton Gardens, Sydney Harbour

Back to nature – Rusty anchor #marineexplorer…

Back to nature - Rusty anchor #marineexplorer

Back to nature – Rusty anchor #marineexplorer by John Turnbull

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Unlike plastics which persist in the environment for hundreds of years, many other materials are re-claimed by nature in a relatively short time. This anchor, presumably galvanised when new, is being broken down and colonised by algae and invertebrates. Bare Island

Sponge garden at Bare Is #marineexplorer by J…

Sponge garden at Bare Is #marineexplorer

Sponge garden at Bare Is #marineexplorer by John Turnbull

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I never tire of the colour and diversity of these sponge gardens

Dendronephthya australis soft coral #marineex…

Dendronephthya australis soft coral #marineexplorer

Dendronephthya australis soft coral #marineexplorer by John Turnbull

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This rare soft coral is found only along a short stretch of the east coat of Australia.

Weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus #mar…

Weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus #marineexplorer

Weedy seadragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus #marineexplorer by John Turnbull

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Nice to see the weedies are now being recorded regularly at Shelly Beach

How big is that weedy?  Phyllopteryx taeniola…

How big is that weedy  Phyllopteryx taeniolatus #marineexplorer

How big is that weedy?  Phyllopteryx taeniolatus #marineexplorer by John Turnbull

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Despite the wet weather, we’ve been counting and measuring weedy seadragons. Viz wasn’t bad at Kurnell, 6-8 m. Are you surprised by their size? This adult is around 40 cm. 10 cm graduations are marked on the ruler with cable ties

Colour variants – Temnopleurus alexandri urch…

Colour variants - Temnopleurus alexandri urchin #marineexplorer

Colour variants – Temnopleurus alexandri urchin #marineexplorer by John Turnbull

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While some urchins are just plain ol’ black, others have a range of colour variants. Heliocidaris erythrogramma – purple urchins – can be anything but purple, and Tripneustes gratilla – sea lamingtons – can have rainbow icing and coconut flecks. Until now, I thought all T. alexamdri had purple spines… but in this pic from Steel Point, Sydney Harbour you can see the less common orange version.

Plenty of Rhabdosargus sarba Tarwhine #marine…

Plenty of Rhabdosargus sarba Tarwhine #marineexplorer

Plenty of Rhabdosargus sarba Tarwhine #marineexplorer by John Turnbull

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There are plenty of tarwhine in the sanctuary zones at Port Stephens. These are some of the few remaining areas where target species can grow to natural numbers and sizes, and we need more of them.

Hey good lookin! Eastern frogfish – Batrachom…

Hey good lookin! Eastern frogfish - Batrachomoeus dubius #marineexplorer

Hey good lookin! Eastern frogfish – Batrachomoeus dubius #marineexplorer by John Turnbull

Via Flickr:

Under the human self-delusion dubbed the “better than average effect”, 74% of drivers rate themselves better than average, and 95% of people rate their partners as more attractive and accomplished than average. Perhaps this delusion applies to fish too? Otherwise, how would B. dubius get out of bed in the morning? The answer is indeed dubious.