Aquatic Pelagic Ballet
A school of yellowtail fusilier open this aquatic ballet, in a carefully choreographed dance, yellow tails flashing in unison. Then, a grey reef shark provides an intermezzo between acts. Schooling surgeonfish perform next, followed by schooling blue striped yellow snapper, progressively building anticipation toward the main act. Voila! Hundreds of schooling sharks, with a few breaking out and moving toward center stage, one of them a prima ballerina? The sharks dance in unison, before yielding to a competing act of schooling spotted eagle rays. Alas, the two companies join together in a grand performance, elegant, graceful, magical. A few remoras provide comic relief. A beautiful blue ribbon eel, seemingly dressed for the show in a bright, lovely yellow hat, arrives a bit too late, in time to see only the last act of the schooling surgeonfish. Some unusual extraterrestrial beings close the show.
63 sharks in 63 seconds
Something fantastic about scuba diving is that you discover new sea life with every dive, each one yielding a fresh discovery. In addition to the colorful reef fish highlighted in this video (such as schooling bannerfish, butterflyfish, triggerfish) often found in New Caledonia, and some beautiful yellow spiral whip coral, Samiy Diver follows a unicornfish, and later, a flounder. Flounder are unusual in that they are born with one eye on each side of their head but as they grow into juveniles, one eye rotates to the other side of the body through a process of metamorphosis. They hunt their prey by burrowing into the sand to camouflage themselves.
Then, out of the blue, literally, dozens of schooling grey reef sharks appear, swarming peacefully, though it is common for large schools like this to hunt together. These sharks are about 6 ft (2 meters) long, fully grown. In large schools like this, which tend to grow in size throughout the day and disperse at night, the majority of the sharks are female. Grey reef sharks are considered a “near threatened” species by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), primarily due to overfishing. It is estimated that grey reef sharks populations have declined up to 97% in some parts of world. As you can see, they are beautiful and not dangerous.
Turtle eating vegetables!
Just off the coast of Nouméa, New Caledonia, this green turtle eats a vegetarian breakfast of sea grass. Green turtles are the only sea turtles that are herbivores (vegetarians), eating algae scraped off rocks, and underwater tear grasses (like this) and seaweed.