DixPix Photographs

     

INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO

 
     
  SEA LIFE  

 

As Indonesia alone is said to be comprised of over 17,500 islands, sea life might be viewed as even more paramount than the offerings of the jungles.  Alas, the author has not spent much time on beaches or under water.  A few photos of possible interest have accumulated, however.

 

A Giant Clam, off the north coast of Papua New Guinea.  This is the largest bivalve on earth, either Tridacna gigas or T. maxima.  This immense mollusc is found in shallow waters of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. Click to see big picture (640x443 pixels; 103 KB)
Despite its huge size, the Giant Clam gets its nutrition from a symbiotic relationship with a dynoflagellate microbe that lives in its carapace. Click to see big picture (640x419 pixels; 143 KB)
And continuing with molluscs, what is this?  A giant conch shell on sale on the tourist beach of Kota Kinabalu. Click to see big picture (360x480 pixels; 49 KB)
And on the Beaches of Bali, they are presented in swarms.  This looks like it would be more at home in the Caribbean. Click to see big picture (640x382 pixels; 88 KB)
Not just conches, but a wide variety of shells are on sale on Bali beaches.  Very nice.  There are nautilus, a wide variety of cone shells and cowries.  How many are local is another question.  Could it be that shells migrate towards money. Click to see big picture (640x419 pixels; 116 KB)
In the highlands of Papua New Guinea, many hostile tribes from the ocean, cowrie shells held both spiritual and monitory importance; in fact the country's first currency was named for them.  Here they have been used to give power to a mask. cowrie mask
More at home, this shell from northernmost Borneo, looks like a compressed cone shell, but it is likely one of many patterns of the Nobel Volute, Cymbiola nobilis. Click to see big picture (415x480 pixels; 69 KB)
Back to PNG, this is the striking Brain Coral, of the Faviidae family.  Its patterns are the original maze. Click to see big picture (614x480 pixels; 143 KB)
And then there are the Staghorn Corals that grow in long fingers.  This is likely Acropora sp. Click to see big picture (640x475 pixels; 73 KB)
Another style is the Leather Coral, which occurs in many forms.  It is considered one of the 'soft corals'. Click to see big picture (573x480 pixels; 80 KB)
Another form of Leather Coral, perhaps Sarcophytum sp. Click to see big picture (549x480 pixels; 138 KB)
This looks a bit like a sponge, but I suspect it is another form of a soft coral. Click to see big picture (520x480 pixels; 92 KB)
Switching from the north coast of PNG to the north coast of Suluwesi, this is a cluster of tube worms, likely of the Phoronida phylum. Click to see big picture (640x427 pixels; 86 KB)
Also in Suluwesi, a crab dressed for a party.  It hales from a mangrove, but the long eye-stocks look more like a ghost crab than a mangrove crab. Click to see big picture (640x416 pixels; 119 KB)
And on the shores of Sabah, these inter-tidal pellet tracks mark the diggings of what is also likely one of the ghost crabs. Click to see big picture (616x480 pixels; 133 KB)
Also in Sabah, a forlorn-looking hermit crab.  This is likely the Indonesian Land Hermit Crab, Coenobita brevimanus, which also seems to occur on the east coast of Africa. Click to see big picture (462x480 pixels; 88 KB)
Another crab wandering far from the water, this one well decorated, but I have no idea of the species. Click to see big picture (597x480 pixels; 120 KB)
Continuing on the west coast of Borneo, this is a Long-spined Sea Urchin, Diadema setosum approx.  Not great for bare feet. Click to see big picture (579x480 pixels; 111 KB)
The widespread family of Mudskippers, this seems to be Periophthalmus argentilineatus, are also represented in the region.  These small fish can live and even travel for extended periods on land. Click to see big picture (640x342 pixels; 85 KB)
Southeast Asia is also home to the False Clownfish (or Anemone Fish), Amphiprion ocellaris.  These spend most of their lives in the protection of sea anemones, and are a staple of salt water aquariums, as seen here. Click to see big picture (640x379 pixels; 124 KB)
The Red Lion Fish (Pterois volitans) with poisonous spines, also haunts the reefs of the southeast Pacific, and has become invasive in the Carribean.  This one, however is showing off in the aquarium at Buenos Aires. red lion fish
Another interesting citizen is the Archer Fish, Toxotes jaculator, which can take down an insect perched above the water with a well directed squirt.  They prefer to jump for their insect prey, however.  They live in fresh or brackish sea water through much of southeast Asia. Click to see big picture (640x437 pixels; 83 KB)
A tuna lies in its blood in a Suluwesi fishing boat.  It is difficult to say what will be the fate of the creatures of shores and shallows when the oceans have been stripped of their apex predators. Click to see big picture (632x420 pixels; 128 KB)
Jellyfish likely kill more people, but this little handful will grow up into the most fearsome creature of rivers and beaches in southeast Asia, the Saltwater Crocodile, Crocodylus porosus. saltwater croc