indo pacific

PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 26, 2017) - An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the “Eagles” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 conducts aerial refueling operations with a U.S. Air Force KC-10A Extender assigned to the 6th Air Refueling Squadron over the Pacific Ocean. The Eagles are traveling from Naval Air Facility Atsugi (NAFA), Japan, to Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, to complete the Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program. VFA 115 is forward deployed to NAFA, Japan, in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Chris Pagenkopf/Released) 170226-N-CF980-007

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OMG it’s like swimming ribbon candy!

The ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita), also known as the leaf-nosed moray eel or bernis eel, is a species of moray eel, the only member of the genus Rhinomuraena. What is now known as R. quaesita also includes the former R. amboinensis. R. quaesita was used for blue ribbon eels and R. amboinensis for black ribbon eels, but these are now recognized as the same species. The ribbon eel is found in lagoons and reefs in the Indo-Pacific ocean, ranging from East Africa to southern Japan, Australia and French Polynesia. Although generally placed in the moray eel family Muraenidae, it has several distinctive features leading some to place it in its own family, Rhinomuraenidae.

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Ceratosoma trilobatum

Ceratosoma trilobatum is a species of colorful dorid nudibranch, a sea slug, a shell-less marine gastropod mollusk in the family Chromodorididae. This sea slug is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific area, from the oriental African coast to Japan, Red Sea included.Ceratosoma trilobatum can grow to a maximal size of 15 cm length. It feeds on sponge.

photo credits: JennyHuang

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Horned Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus)

Also known as the Chocolate Chip or Knobbed Sea Star, the horned sea star is a species of oreasterid sea star that occurs in warm, shallow waters in the Indo-Pacific. Like many other sea stars P. nodosus is an opportunistic carnivore and will feeds mainly on sessile invertebrates and other slow moving invertebrates. The “horns” which give P. nodosus its common name are used mainly to deter potential predators by making it look less palatable.

Classification

Animalia-Echinodermata-Asteroidea-Valvatida-Oreasteridae-Protoreaster-P. nodosus

Images: Kareji and Marta Maria Rubio Texeria

I love cuttlefish. And actually all cephalopods are pretty awesome.

Did you know they are  in the Mollusc family?  That means they are related to snails, although they are very much different from their arms and tentacles, to the ability to change skin colour and texture.

Two F/A-18F Super Hornets assigned to the “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 fly above the flight deck of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). F/A-18’s operate from 10 aircraft carriers and 37 squadrons worldwide. Ronald Reagan, the Carrier Strike Group Five (CSG 5) flagship, is on patrol supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Jamaal Liddell/Released)

Elysia ornata (Ornate leaf slug)
Pelong SE, Brunei, 4m

Not a nudi! E. ornata is closely related to nudibranchs, but actually belongs to a clade known as Sacoglossa, the ‘sap sucking’ sea slugs.

Sacoglossans are called sap suckers because they eat the cell contents of seaweed and algae. The cool part is that they can then incorporate the plant chloroplasts into their bodies and use them to photosynthesise! They use the products of photosynthesis to supplement their diets.

Classification
Animalia - Mollusca - Gastropoda - Sacoglossa - Plakobranchidae - ElysiaE. ornata

Burgundy Leaf Fish in Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia. 

These guys were all over in an array of different colours (my favourite find was pink!). Not only do they look leaf-like, they sway back and forth in the current to complete the disguise. 

anonymous asked:

Is there anything you can do if you're stung by one? Cause I'll be heading out to florida soon and hearing about them here has me pretty nervous about shell-hunting

Don’t worry about it. Everything I’ve read suggests that cone snails found along American coasts possess only a mild venom that’s comparable to a hornet sting - the dangerous one live in the Indo-Pacific. If you were to get stung by a cone snail in Florida, it’d be a good idea to see a doctor anyway, but short of an allergic reaction you probably won’t be in danger. Cone snails tend to live in subtidal waters and rarely show up in the intertidal zone - if you find a Conus shell on the beach, it’s probably empty. You could turn it over to check first.

Orange spotted filefish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris)

The orange spotted filefish is a filefish in the family Monacanthidae found on coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific Oceans. It is pale blue with about eight longitudinal rows of orange-yellow patches. In the wild it feeds almost exclusively on Acropora polyps. Orange spotted filefish absorb and use chemicals in the Acropora coral they eat to take on its smell, which cloaks them from natural predators like cod.

photo credits: Richard Ling

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Name: Cadlinella ornatissima

My personal name: Flower power slug 🌼

Location: Tropical Indo-West Pacific

Diet: Sponges (Spongebob beware! :0)

Size: 1.0-5.0 cm long

Egg ribbon rebel! Most sea slugs’ egg ribbons are made so only the edges touch the ground and it’s sort of a 3D spiral. C. ornatissima, however, lays a flat spiral egg ribbon instead! It doesn’t conform to the usual egg ribbon standard! 🍥

THREATENED RIVER SHARKS REDISCOVERED AFTER 45 YEARS

Scientists recently discovered two species of shark river after analyzing the DNA of these fishes in a market in Papua New Guinea. These represent the first records of both species in the country since the 1960s and 1970s and highlight the lack of studies of shark biodiversity.

The river sharks (Carcharhinidae: Glyphis) are a relatively poorly known group of sharks with patchy distributions in tropical rivers and coastal regions of the Indo-West Pacific

The fact that adult speartooth sharks (Glyphis glyphis) , a large apex predator, have thus far gone unnoticed highlights the rarity of river sharks which combined with their occurrence in remote, poorly-surveyed regions, have resulted in Glyphis species being some of the least known sharks

Despite their large size, they are not considered a danger to humans due to their extreme rarity. Experts believe there are less than 2,500 mature individuals of this species in the entire world, and no more than 200 in any one local population.

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Photograph: Freshly caught specimen of New Guinea river shark (Glyphis garricki)

The New Guinea river shark, which is generally slightly larger, is even more rare. Fewer than 250 mature individuals are believed to exist.

  • Image:  Freshly caught adult males of speartooth shark (Glyphis glyphis)
  • reference:  White et al 2015 Rediscovery of the Threatened River Sharks, Glyphis garricki and G. glyphis, in Papua New Guinea. PLoS ONE
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Garden eels, members of the conger eel family, live in the Indo-Pacific, but species are also found in warmer parts of the Atlantic Ocean and East Pacific. These small eels live in burrows on the sea floor and get their name from their practice of poking their heads from their burrows while most of their bodies remain hidden. Since they tend to live in groups, the many eel heads “growing” from the sea floor resemble the plants in a garden.

Two more dolphins will go back to the ocean after 20 years in captivity.
Once raised at Seoul Grand Park, two Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins will soon return to their motherland; Jeju coastal waters.
After 20 years of living in the aquarium at Seoul Grand Park, the two male Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins “Geumdeung” and “Daepo” will be sent back to Jeju seas around July. The announcement was made Friday by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation.
The dolphins were captured by a fishery net near Jeju Island in 1997 and 1998, respectively. They were named after the villages (Geumdeung-ri, Daepo-ri) where they were first found. Drifting through various dolphin performance theaters around Jeju Island, they were finally transported to Seoul Grand Park in 1999 and 2002.
The recent decision came as a solution to procreate higher number of their species, which can only be found near the Jeju shores in Korea. At the current time, approximately 100 Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins reside there. Estimated to be aged around 23 to 26 years old, Geumdeung and Daepo are still diagnosed as healthy enough to procreate. An average Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphin lives up to 30 to 35 years old.
This is not the first time to return dolphins back to their homes. For the first time in Asia, the dolphin “Jedol” was released in 2013. The ministry plans to carefully carry out training sessions for the two mammals to adapt seamlessly to wildlife, as they were raised for nearly two decades. Once they become used to their local surroundings and catch preys, the two dolphins will be transported back to the southern island in May and return to the ocean around July.