Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Roots, Canals, and Filefish

Before leaving Blackbird Caye in Belize, I went for a snorkel in the mangroves.

It was very, very green. Alton, Daisy and I entered the water and we were gently pushed through a channel on Calabash Island from the tidal flow. Floating between the rows of tangled roots was surreal.

The view above the water was so different from what was below. Being in the mangrove exposed me to fish and invertebrates that I hadn't seen before. There were new anemones to be seen and all kinds of juvenile fish. Perhaps some of the cutest fish were the young barracuda. They had all of the adult features necessary to look intimidating, but were only a few inches long.
One of the most interesting fish that I ran into is pictured in the photo below. Can you see it?
I don't know which species of filefish this is. I'll post it when I find out. It sure looks a lot like a leaf floating in the water. It moves really slow in this head-down position. I'm lucky that I even spotted it. Here's a relative of it that I really enjoy seeing. It's a slender filefish and it hides in the soft corals on the reef.

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