Filed Under: Animals

Anilao, Batangas, Philippines: Chromodoris magnifica nudibranch

How to Fall in Love with Nudibranchs in 12 Easy Steps

It is no secret that I love the nudibranch. But it may come as a surprise that not everyone shares my branchophile tendencies. Fortunately, I have devised a twelve-step program to convert even the most reluctant slug-lover lover into a nudi connoisseur.

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Anilao, Batangas, Philippines: Frogfish

Frogfish are basically sponges with mouths

How to find a frogfish? Look for sponges. Look at all the sponges. If a sponge looks like it has a mouth, it might be a frogfish. If it doesn’t look like it has a mouth, it might still be a frogfish. Maybe poke it. If it moves, your chances that it is a frogfish just went up.

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Sexy Shrimp

… No, really, that’s what it’s called. Thor amboinensis, also known as the Sexy Shrimp, lives symbiotically on another invertebrate–most often a sea anemone–trading cleaning service for protection. It’s called “sexy” because it twerks its little tail as it dances around its anemone. This shrimp, found in Anilao, Philippines, was about half an inch long.

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Seahorse, Westpunt, Curaçao

The Recalcitrant Seahorse

Once upon a time, in a magical far away land called Curaçao, there was a seahorse.   And it was a jerk.   Every time I approached it with my camera, it would turn its back to me. Every. Single. Time. Sometimes, it even just got up and walked away. I hated that seahorse. And []

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Wednesday Link Roundup: Muck Diving in the Philippines, Shooting Supermacro with Wet Diopters, Diving Cleopatra’s Sunken Palace

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m spending the next week and a half in Anilao, Philippines, one of the muck diving Meccas of the world. Muck diving is so named for the muddy bottom composition at the dive site. This sediment is home to a host of exotic critters, such as nudibranchs, frogfish, pygmy seahorses, and blue ringed []

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The Ruby E: One of San Diego’s Most Richly Historied Shipwrecks

The Ruby E, one of San Diego’s premiere wrecks for divers, has a rich and colorful history. Although initially commissioned to intercept Prohibition-Era alcohol shipments on behalf of the United States Coast Guard, she also assisted in Bering Sea patrols, thwarted Japanese task forces in the Aleutian Islands during WWII, and worked as a commercial fish processing boat in Central America. She now rests in 85′ of water outside of Mission Bay.

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I saw things in the Sea of Cortez that were not nudibranchs

Despite troublesome conditions on our Sea of Cortez diving trip (on the liveaboard dive boat Nautilus Explorer), we did manage a few days where the visibility was good enough to leave the macro lens in the cabin and get underwater for some wide-angle action. In fact, the water was so clear and beautiful on our first []

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Sarcastic Fringehead

Diving at La Jolla Shores is like Going to the Zoo…

… In that I always seem to end up seeing one of everything. Seriously, head down there with a creature checklist and cross it off, and then ascend when you’ve seen it all. WOW, what an amazing night dive at La Jolla Shores. We went in at 8pm and dropped into about 15 feet of []

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Melibe leonina nudibranch

Melibe leonina nudibranchs are weird and awesome

Nudibranchs never cease to amaze me. Just when I think I’ve had enough nudibranchs for, like, ever, a new one I’ve never seen before comes along and voilà, instant nudibranch love affair all over again. I’d seen the Melibe leonina nudibranch in photos but never in the flesh (in the slime?). Then we went for a shore []

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The Sea of Cortez is Riddled with Nudibranchs

Being the kiss of death that I am when it comes to dive trips and good conditions, I shouldn’t have been surprised when we arrived in the Sea of Cortez to find cold, green, murky, Socal-esque water. For months prior to the trip, I entertained fantasies of seeing whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, orcas, manta rays, []

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Moose are Masters of Disguise

Moose Alley in Pittsburg, NH Moose are big. Really big. Like, 1000 pounds big. As a kid, I had a dog. He was a yellow Labrador. His name was Chewy. He was pretty big. Not moose big, but definitely Labrador big. He didn’t really know his own size, though, and certainly didn’t see any reason []

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Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber

Chamber Day 2013 and Catalina Kelp Diving

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, marked the 25th annual Chamber Day on Catalina. The event benefits Catalina’s hyperbaric chamber, the only hyperbaric chamber in Southern California that is exclusively dedicated to the treatment of diving accidents. The Chamber, which is staffed 24/7/365 by volunteers, derives over half of its annual budget from Chamber Day proceeds. We []

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