Amazing photos of the ocean’s creatures

A new book, The World Beneath: The Life and Times of Unknown Sea Creatures and Coral Reefs by Dr. Richard Smith.


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Amazing photos of the ocean's creatures 1

Blue flasher wrasse, Indonesia

The male blue flasher wrasse puts on a vibrant show in its habitat within the reefs of the Raja Ampat Islands, an archipelago in West Papua, Indonesia. Some of the most stunning of all the reef’s male displays are performed by flasher wrasses, which Dr Smith describes as "some of the most striking of all the Earth’s creatures." Indonesia alone has 11 species of these colorful reef fish in its waters.

Amazing photos of the ocean's creatures 4

Walea soft coral pygmy seahorse, Indonesia

The walea soft coral pygmy seahorse is only found in the beige soft corals of one small bay in central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Its long tail, which it coils up into a ball when swimming, has adapted to hold on to the thick branches of the coral. With such a specific habitat and small natural range, the enchanting little fish is at real risk of extinction as reefs face a variety of threats including coral bleaching.

Amazing photos of the ocean's creatures 5

Orangutan crab, Australia

A tiny orangutan crab sits on bubble coral in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. So-called because of its little fine red hairs, the furry-looking crustacean measures just 0.7 inches (1.7cm) and is a decorator crab, attaching debris collected from the ocean floor to its hairs for camouflage. Discover amazing images of the world's most colorful natural wonders.

Amazing photos of the ocean's creatures 6

Reef manta ray, the Maldives

New discoveries are unfolding on our reefs all the time. It was only in 2009 that marine researchers realized that the subtle differences seen between manta rays were actually due to there being two different species: the larger oceanic rays (mobula birostris), which tend to travel much greater distances, and the smaller, more site-attached reef manta ray species (mobula alfredi), pictured here feeding in the Maldives.

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