To Eat And Not To Be Eaten

New Caledonia, South Pacific, End of September 2022

Out on the blue lagoon, we love spending time watching the natural scenes surrounded, above and beneath the salty ocean surface...




Underwater, there is an endless variety of marine life to observe and it is always so interesting to see the many different behaviours, which so often are about finding food and not to be eaten... 




Feather Starfish are a common sight in the lagoon, these special creatures are passive suspension feeders, filtering plankton from the surrounding sea water with their feather-like arms…




... meanwhile the spotted eagle rays use their flattened snout to dig into the sandy bottom. Oftentimes their prey is buried in the sand, which the rays dislodge and capture. 

This species of eagle ray has a specialised v-shaped tooth structure helping it to crush mollusks' hard shells, they also like to feed on crustaceans, such as crabs and shrimps, as well as small fish.


 
 
The cute and tiny green chromis forms large feeding aggregations above branching corals, where they feed on plankton, algae, and crustaceans, as well as finding a valuable home and shelter.
 
 

 
Sea kraits are semiaquatic, spending time both on land and in the sea. They hunt underwater, where we see them actively looking for food among the corals. These venomous, but nonaggressive, creatures are known to feed on moray eels, conger eels, squid, crabs, and fish.
 



The trumpet fish on the other hand stalks its prey by hovering almost motionlessly, often in a vertical, head-down position, waiting for its prey to get closer... It too like small fish and crustaceans.

Once close enough, it rapidly dart in, capturing the prey by suddenly expanding its tube-like mouth, which generates a suction strong enough to draw in their prey.



Big or small, underwater or on land, so much there is to observe, learn from and get fascinated about in wonderful nature!







Mediterranean

Mediterranean, Spain, August-September 2022

Where jelly fish are pretty and groupers grow plenty in protected areas, the sunset leads us the way when Eja continues her salty travel through the beautiful, blue Mediterranean Sea...












 


Barents Sea & Svalbard

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Barents Sea & Kapp Lee, Svalbard, July 2022

Life at sea...

Surrounded by an endless horizon, we navigate into the infinite beauty, where further adventures await and new experiences are created.

  Arctic seabirds keep us company during our survey in the Barents Sea, where playful and feeding humpback whales are a pleasant display for our ever searching eyes for marine mammals.







After many weeks spent surveying in pelagic waters, the mountainous landscape of Svalbard is an exciting sight.

 



 

Whether out at sea or on land, a curious and observant eye is the key for spotting wildlife. Even the biggest creatures appear small in their vast environments. Do you spot the polar bear in the next pictures?

 



 
The walk of the polar bear leads to a beach, where a colony of walruses are enjoying the late evening sun.

 




 

The bear seems to be dreaming of walrus for dinner, but after a couple of shy hunt tries, it continues its long distance walk. 

 



 

Almost two months have past since the Barents Sea survey started in early June. August is already here with new ventures ahead.

Thanks so much to all my friends and colleagues at the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) for a great summer in the Arctic!