Anguilla

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February 12, 2002

0900 - 1100

Prickly Pear East, Anguilla

 

Staghorn coral reef

    Sandy bottom surrounding reef, with sharp border where reef starts. Mostly staghorn coral, with several large sea fans. Depth of reef ranging from 10 ft. near edge to 2 ft. in center. Not many fish inhabiting reef. Most coral growing on large boulders, completely covered from years of buildup.

    The reef was created by polyps of staghorn coral clinging to large boulders in the sand. I presume the change in ecoregion is because staghorn coral prefers shallower water.

    I have not determined any new general adaptation needs besides open water with frequent swells and breakers, with strong surges.

     - Flamingo tongue snail - clings to sea fans, absorbing nutrients from water and micro-organisms streaming past, as well as directly from the sea fan.

 

Dominant species -

 - Staghorn coral

 - Sea fans

 - Parrotfish

February 13, 2002

Early afternoon

Pelican Rock, Crocus Bay, Anguilla

 

Coral-encrusted rocky peninsula

    There are millions and millions of fish, all of the same type. Pelicans and brown boobies hang around to get an easy meal, and the same with several barracuda and tarpon. Light covering of coral over boulders and an underwater peninsula.

    Beyond the peninsula is sandy, with few animals or plants.

    The change in ecoregion was caused by the transition from sandy bottom to rocky peninsula, where there is protection and food for the small fish.

    They must be adapted to avoiding predators and catching prey, mainly.

     - Silversides - Swim in huge clumps, and when a "predator" swims through they scatter away from it into smaller flows. The predator never even touches them.

     - Pelicans - Some way they can dive, or an extra-strong neck, keeps them from killing themselves as they dive into the water, sometimes from up to 15 feet in the air.

 

Dominant species -

 - Mutton Hamlet (maybe)

 - Silversides

 - Herrings, anchovies

 - Pelicans

 - Brown boobies

 

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