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The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Seahorse Evolution

9f9dSeahorse vs normal fish evolution 600x347 The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Seahorse Evolution
Just how did seahorses make the leap from ordinary fish to extraordinary oddity? Damselfish photo by Klaus Stiefel When you look at a seahorse, it’s easy to wonder how such a bizarre creature could come to be. The seahorse’s behavior and appearance is so radically different from most other fish that one can’t help but ponder how they evolved into what we see today. With it’s unusual horse-like head, chameleon eyes, monkey tail, kangaroo pouch and insect-like armor; how did did it evolve to be so strange? To understand that, we need to look at some of the seahorses relatives. One issue we face with discovering how seahorses evolved is the lack of fossils. There are a few fossils that show some early seahorses, but like most sea-dwelling creatures, it’s a very limited number. More: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Seahorse EvolutionMore:

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Photo-Chop: What You See Is Not What You Get

Untitled 1 Photo Chop: What You See Is Not What You Get
Have you ever shopped online and purchased a coral that looked extremely bright and full of color only to receive a dulled down version?  It has you question whether your tank husbandry is out of whack and makes you second guess your light choice.  The truth is that you probably do have the exact coral from the photograph.  The lights they use are probably equivalent or less than yours.  After all, most businesses try to save money.  They also find ways to make money.  One of the most successful way to make us drool is with a coral that looks as bright as a bag of Skittles.   The “technique” has been labeled “Photo-Shopping,” though nowadays people just use smartphone photo editing apps.    Benefits of Editing Better Photos:  Personally, I have a heck of a time getting my camera to capture what my eyes see.  The blue channel always seems to overpower the white, thus making terrible photos without doing a few things with the lights before snapping the shot…or I can easily take the picture and then adjust the photo afterwards to make the picture look more real. More: Photo-Chop: What You See Is Not What You GetMore:

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Grooved & Symmetrical Brain Corals, Stony Corals

4b45Field Of Brains 457x305 Grooved & Symmetrical Brain Corals, Stony Corals Hi friends, I had a request for a Brain Coral photo and found this one today that was taken a few months ago during coral spawning. This area here is located near our big desalination plant and is one of the best places in Curacao to view all the different types of brain corals. As you can see from the photo above it’s literally a field of hundreds if not thousands of small colonies of Grooved, Knobby and Symmetrical Brain corals all living in harmony in about 25-30 feet of water! Symmetrical brain coral, Diploria strigosa (middle bottom) can be identified as having evenly rounded ridges and usually without a top groove while Grooved brain coral, Diploria labyrinthiformis (bottom right) have deep, often narrow, polyp bearing valleys that are separated by broad ridges with wide, conspicuous trough-like grooves. Grooved brain coral is also known by many as “Depressed Brain Coral” and “Labyrinthine Brain Coral” and Symmetrical brain coral goes by, “Common Brain Coral” and “Smooth Brain Coral”. MORE: Grooved & Symmetrical Brain Corals, Stony CoralsMore:

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Hengki Koentjoro’s Underwater Photos

hengki 5 Hengki Koentjoros Underwater Photos
This photo is one in a series by Hengki Koentjoro, his work has been featured on many different websites and art blogs.  Hengki really has a knack for exposing interesting and unusual moments and textures, evidenced by his heavy use of black and white photography.  For more of his underwater images, be sure to check out his gallery HERE.… More:

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Aussie Hammer Varieties

CHE 9304 Aussie Hammer Varieties
Lots of new colors and patterns showing up in recent Australian Euphyllias, evidenced by this photo from Todd Cherry.  He’s even got the Aussie Yellow Splatter in there for good measure.  It’s hard to believe that corals like this, which grow so well in our aquariums and are easily fragged into new colonies, are at risk of being declared endangered.  The outcome of that sort of action could mean that giving someone a head of these corals would be illegal.… More:

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Caribbean Reef Squids, Juvenile Reef Squids

63a1Squid with Fish 1 Caribbean Reef Squids, Juvenile Reef Squids Good morning friends, I had mentioned to you that we had a small group of newborn Caribbean Reef Squids around our floating dock area and yesterday I jumped in twice to photograph them! These five little babies are less than an inch long but act like full size squids! By this I mean they are already incredible hunters as you see above, they can flash colors like their parents and in a blink of an eye they can disappear leaving only a cloud of ink in their path! As I was following the group yesterday one of them darted out into a big group of little bait fish and by golly caught one, I was completely shocked! I then followed trying my best to get a photo but it was so hard because of us being so close to the surface of the water, the waves and surge were really throwing me around but of course not bothering him at all. He then carried his fish around for about five minutes before finally eating it, what an amazing sight to see. After playing with the squids I swam down to 15 feet and watched the Pipefish for awhile and did get a few shots, will get that to you all soon. Here is a little more squid information from MARINEBIO.ORG they have a great site and great information and perfect for those of us who don’t have much time in the morning, read on. MORE:Caribbean Reef Squids, Baby, Juvenile Reef SquidsMore:

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Andrea’s Negusanti Italian Marine Aquarium

acquario marino andreanegu danireef 2 Andreas Negusanti Italian Marine Aquarium

Here we are to introduce and comment one of the most beautiful reef tanks I’ve ever seen. Most of all, we’d like to admire the skill of Andrea Negusanti, aka AndreaNegu, who was able to have as many as two of his tanks awarded as “tank of the month”. We’re also proud to have Andrea as the centerpiece of our italian-pizza-and-aquarium-lovers group “MagnaRomagna“.

Andrea’s tank was tailored in order to fit into his home environment and is based on a custom Elos tank (125x70x55) entirely made in extra clear glass 15 mm thick. The tank’s gross capacity is 480 liters, which is also the system’s overall capacity, also considering sump volumes.


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Whipping in the “Wind”

This Pipe Organ (Tubipora musica) colony grew like a weed in very heavy flow and always reminded me of wheat in a field on a windy day. The challenge for this image was to capture that look while retaining sufficient polyp detail.
   I chose an “opening” in the colony so the image would have some in-focus polyp bases to give the eye a starting point and finished the composition by filling the rest of the frame with flowing polyps. The next step was to determine exposure settings that would deliver the flowing effect I wanted yet retain sufficient detail in the polyps.
   The end result is an image that is on the abstract side and may not be of interest to everyone. I like the lines in the image and the hint of pinnules here and there, along with the changes in color. It’s also one of those images you can view more than once and see new elements.–Gary L. Parr, www.gparr.com, www.reefthreads.comMore:

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