Readers’ wildlife photos and videos

May 23, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today we have a subject not often seen here: underwater animals. The photographer is Peter Klaver, and the IDs, movies, and descriptions are indented. (Don’t forget to send in your photos; see the left sidebar for instructions.)

Earlier this year I had a scuba diving trip in the Maldives, which is a true scuba divers’ paradise. Pictures and video do not fully do it justice, especially if the water is a bit murky, as it sometimes was. But they give at least some impression of the kinds of things you see underwater there.
The main prize for us was schools of manta rays (I don’t know if we saw Manta birostris or Manta alfredi) that were circling above cleaning stations, where they come to let cleaner fish eat parasites off them. There are some video clips of them here, here, and here.

Bigger still than manta rays are whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, the biggest fish in the ocean. We briefly saw a smaller one in the distance, possibly a juvenile, of less than 10 meters.

Nurse sharks, Ginglymostoma cirratum, were not at all shy. There were plenty of opportunities to take photos and video of them from close up.

Sometimes they picked spots on the bottom right next to us to lie down.

There are some video clips of nurse sharks here and here.
Yellowtail snappers, Lutjanus lutjanus, often come in very big shoals.

I don’t know the name of this fish:

We saw different kinds or moray eels; there are video clips of them here and here.

Lion fish, of the genus Pterios, are common sight in tropical reef dives. Unless you see them near the surface under bright sun light, you see them as black and white. The red colors in the photo below are due to the use of flash.

Turtles are also a common sight in reef dives. There are some video clips of them here and here.

In some places the bottom is covered in hard corals.

The full collection of photos and video from the trip is at .