Readers’ wildlife photos

February 20, 2017 • 7:45 am

Reader Divy F., a new contributor who hails from Florida, sent some marine photos—and two kitties. Her notes are indented:

My husband, Ivan, was recently in the Indonesian isles of Waigeo and Misool, and took photos of many different species of animals in the wild, both ocean and land. Here are just a few, for you to enjoy.

These were freshwater jellyfish (non-stinging) in a land locked crater-like lake, on one of the islands of Misool archipelago in Papua, Indonesia.


I don’t have the proper name for the Jellyfish, but they were freshwater, of the non-stinging variety.

The first pic turtle is a Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta); the second is a Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata ). [JAC: Hawksbills are critically endangered.]



The little mammal in the tree is a cuscus, who was also fed a banana by one of the natives of the island. That was in the island of Waigeo.



The little bird is a Black-capped or black-capped lory (Lorius lory), or so Ivan was told. A Wikipedia check seemed to confirm it.


Beautiful scenery:


And the two precious moggies are Boba and Jango Fett. Boba is the medium haired cat with more white. Jango is the short haired one.



17 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Very interesting pictures! The jellyfish there are among different populations in the area that are isolated from each other, and are considered distinct from the marine populations. I do not know if they are considered separate species. Their greenish color is because they have symbiotic algae in their tissues.

  2. I’m struck by the unusual erosional pattern in the rocky shapes. How do you get such a well formed conical shape? I can only imagine the rocks were uplifted at a gradually increasing rate to produce the shape.

    1. @rickflick that area is madly geologically active due to it being the confluence of two or three plates. Also it’s famous for reefs & for recent active volcanoes – lots of ’em. The region has episodes when huge areas are uplifted so coral becomes land & the reverse happens too, also the sea levels vary anyway due to glaciation cycles.

      I am not a geologist but the rock looks like layers of pumice & coral limestone. I imagine that rock must be very soft judging by the undercut at water level. Perhaps the curved conical shapes are due to soft materials & impressive amount of water erosion?

      1. That’s interesting. There are structures like this along the coast of Vietnam as well. Perhaps a similar environment.

    2. @rickflick Here is a google image search which returns nice views of what’s happening at different scales:

      I also found this article on the Raja Ampat area – of which the two islands in the photos are a part. Note that the article does also mention Vietnam…

      “The Raja Ampat area is a natural wonderland punctuated by an endless variety of islands of different geological significance, from coconut-studded coral cays that scarcely rise above sea level, to the spectacularly steep rain-forested slopes of Batanta and Waigeo, soaring to an elevation of 600-1000m. Marine navigation charts reveal there are at least 1,500 small cays and islets surrounding the four main islands (the ‘four kings’ Raja Ampat is named after).

      Perhaps the most spectacular aspect of the above-water scenery is the “drowned karst topography” characterized by hundreds of limestone islets that form a seemingly endless maze of “forested beehives and mushrooms” (especially well developed on Waigeo Island at Kabui Bay and at the Wayag Islands). These triangular karsts can also be found on Gam, Batanta and Misool Islands around Raja Ampat.

      The geomorphology known as drowned karst landscape is due to the exceptional combination of its limestone karst features which have been subject to repeated regression and transgression of the sea over geological time. The limestones of Wayag have been eroded into a mature landscape of clusters of conical peaks and some isolated tower karst features, modified by sea invasion at a later stage. These smaller islands in Wayag are between 0m to 650m high. Many have vertical walls on all or most sides which drop directly to the sea, and continue to evolve by rock falls and large slab failures.

      There is a normal process of lateral undercutting of the limestone towers and islands which occurs in coastal areas (and can also be seen in Kabui Bay to the South-East), but marine invasion has added an extra element. The process of undercutting and subsequent erosion maintains the steep faces of the karst towers and thereby perpetuates the spectacular nature of the landscape. Another distinctive feature of this area, similar to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, is the abundance of lakes as well as extensive limestone caves within the larger limestone islands.

      Because extensive geological studies have yet to be conducted in Raja Ampat, it is difficult to ascertain the age of the karst limestone in the Wayag area (or similar formations in Kabui Bay or Misool in the South). They could be as old as 500 million years (similar to the Permian age limestone of Ha Long Bay, with karsts as old as 20 million years), with formation in different conditions and environments, or more likely, they are much younger, such as those from an Oligocene-Miocene age (~30 to 15 million years old). These younger limestones probably formed largely as reef structures on a slice of continental crust.

      Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera.

      Limestone makes up about 10% of the total volume of all sedimentary rocks. The solubility of limestone in water and weak acid solutions leads to formation of many erosional landforms, including karst landscapes, in which water erodes the limestone over thousands to millions of years. Other examples similarly formed are limestone pavements, pot holes, cenotes, caves and gorges.

      Coastal limestones are often eroded by organisms which bore into the rock by various means, a process known as bioerosion. It is most common in the tropics, and it is known throughout the fossil record (see Taylor and Wilson, 2003).”

      1. What incredible images of the whole area. Astonishing part of the Earth I’ve never visited. A dive trip there would be a once in a lifetime experience.
        Thanks for the extensive reporting about he karst formations. Lot’s to appreciate.
        The geology reminds me of Darwin’s book on coral islands in which he deduced the means of their formation (What didn’t that guy do?)

  3. I believe some people keep fresh water jellies in fresh water aquaria. That part of the world has a lot of interesting fresh water animals.

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