• Photo by Rantje Allen

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  • Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

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Category Archives: Marine Life

Banded Amphiscolops flatworms throw a party

Banded Amphiscolops flatworms are an undescribed species and rarely seen. However, during a check dive in Gorontalo, divers encountered dozens of them.

It’s a Party

Amphiscolops
Dozens of rare acoel flatworms

Miguel’s Diving staff has encountered this rare marine creature less than five times over the two decades we have dived Gorontalo’s biodiverse waters. In previous encounters, only three to five individuals were present. Those Banded Amphiscolops flatworms stayed on the same coral head for several weeks before disappearing from view. They never returned to that spot. In November, 2022, divers from HobbyDive Jakarta were delighted at such a rare encounter. The mystery remains as to why so many of these flatworms gathered. A close inspection of a photo taken during the dive clearly shows them grazing. What they are eating is unclear. However, researchers know that other species of acoel flatworms feed on detritus, diatoms, and tiny crustaceans, especially copepads.

Banded Amphiscolops flatworms

Flatworms are bilaterally symmetrical. Plus, their bodies are soft and flattened, hence the name. Typically, microscopic cilia will protrude from their skin. These are movable hairs. Those on the ventral or underside of the flatworm will move the creature along.

three banded ones
Banded Amphiscolops flatworms

Amphiscolops is a genus of acoel flatworms. Acoel derives from Greek words that mean “no cavity.” Acoel flatworms lack a fluid-filled body cavity. Also, they lack respiration. However, species do have various sensory organs that can only be detected by microscope. Acoel flatworms reproduce via two methods, depending on the species. Most can reproduce by fragmentation. When part of this type of flatworm breaks off, it will grow to become a separate individual. Other acoel flatworks can reproduce sexually.

Since Banded Amphiscolops flatworms are an undescribed species, no one yet know how they reproduce. No one knows why they suddenly congregated in numbers, only to disappear again. When an Amphiscolops flatworm stretches out, its head will be obvious since its tail will appear slightly forked. In the photos we have of Banded Amphiscolops flatworms, they usually appear rounded with their edges rolled in. Perhaps this is part of their feeding behavior. However, close inspection of individuals reveals the slightly forked tail. The end that is not forked will be the head.

It measures about five millimeters in length. A search of online photographs shows the banded flatworm in Halmahera, Indonesia and Aniloa, Philippines. A body diagram of a different Amphiscolops found in Myanmar is available at this link.   

Only with Miguel’s Diving

Only Miguel’s Diving guests see such rare sights in Gorontalo. We have the experience and knowledge to find and explain. So, please make your dive reservations with us.  

Ecsenius yaeyamaensis scatters in Gorontalo

Ecsenius yaeyamaensis, or the Yaeyama combtooth blenny, lives in only a few dive sites in Gorontalo. Miguel’s Diving staff know where to show divers this delightful fish.

How to identify Ecsenius yaeyamaensis

Ecsenius yaeyamaensis
The distinct markings of Ecsenius yaeyamaensis

The best way to determine if a pale combtooth blenny is E. yaeyamaensis is to check for a black chin strap. Then look for a black “Y” or “V” mark behind the strap marking. The fish will also have a couple of rows of black dashes behind its eyes. The body will have rows of indistinct white spots.

Only one other combtooth blenny looks similar to Ecsenius yaeyamaensis. That fish is E. strictus, which lacks the black markings, and is endemic the Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. However, the Yaeyama blenny can be found through out Indo-West Pacific area from Sri Lanka north to Taiwan. This includes Japan’s Yaeyama archipelago where the fish was first discovered in 1954. Its range stretches to Australia and Micronesia.

Cute Combtooth Blennies

Combtooth blennies number over 400 described species in 58 genera. Divers can recognize them by looking at their behavior. Most lack a bladder that allows other fishes to swim in the water column. So, combtooth blennies will perch on the bottom. Enlarged pectoral fins allow them to sit on coral or sand.

Moreover, divers can easily recognize them by looking at their bodies. Typically, a combtooth blenny will have a blunt head and large eyes. Its dorsal fin is continuous. Also, many species have cirri that stick out between their eyes. However, those of Ecsenius yaeyamaensis are too small and pale to be noticed.

This type of blenny lacks teeth. Instead, their dental plates are like combs. These fish will use their comb-like dental plates to scrape algae and other food off rocks and coral. Combtooth blennys also lack scales.

A rarity in Gorontalo

Yaeyama combtooth blenny perches on coral

The Yaeyama combtooth blenny lives in small, scattered colonies in Gorontalo. It will be in areas where other combtooth blennies live. However, its generally pale complexion makes it tricky to spot. Since its maximum length is six centimeters, its small size makes hiding from divers easy. Miguel’s Diving is the only operator in Gorontalo aware of this cute fish.

For your chance to see Ecsenius yaeyamaensis in Gorontalo, please make your dive reservations directly with us.  

Polydorella spionid worms whip their food

Polydorella spionid worms crowded the upper surface of a sponge. Their feeding activity caught the attention of a Miguel’s Diving staff. Since they are super tiny, the sponge seemed to be covered by wiggling hairs.

A Mystery Solved

With such rich marine life, the reefs of Gorontalo are truly a hidden paradise. Despite operating since 2003, our staff had never noticed Polydorella spionid worms. They typically live on the surface of sponges of which Gorontalo has many. However, these segmented worms only reach 1.5 millimeters in length. Their typical width is only 0.4 millimeters. No wonder they are easily overlooked.

Polydorella spionid worms
Polydorella spionid worms in action

However, on a dive at Sand Channels dive site, the surface of one sponge seemed to be quivering with dark hairs. According to the dive master who saw this activity, sponges of that type never displayed such frenetic motion. With the help of an excellent underwater photographer, a documentary photograph helped identify the tiny creatures that caused the pulsating appearance of the sponge’s surface. Upon seeing the photograph, Dr. Leslie Harris of Los Angeles County Natural History Museum confirmed those tiny worms were a species of Polydorella. That is one genus of spionid worms. The whips are their feeding palps. So, the motion that caught our attention was a great gathering of feasting Polydorella spionid worms.

Reproduction in Polydorella spionid worms

All members of the Polydorella genus undergoes asexual reproduction. The process is called paratomy. This type of worm has about fifteen segments, depending on the species. Basically, the worm grows additional segments. Upon reaching a certain length, a middle segment will develop into a head. Eventually, the new segments will separate from the parent segments. Scientists call the parental worm a stock and the new worm a stolon. Genetically, they are identical. The growth area on the parental stock follows segment ten or eleven. Moreover, a chain of up to five individuals can form prior to separation. 

Sexual reproduction is rare among Polydorella spionid worms. Only P. kamakamai and P. smurovi are documented as producing eggs. Indeed, eggs are rare. In research, only one of 290 Kamakama worms had eggs. That amounts to less than half of a percent. No eggs were found in the worms’ burrows. However, the Polydorella spionid worms photographed in Gorontalo contained multiple individuals bearing eggs. The egg sacs appear as white ovals in the picture. So, the documentation of so many eggs sacs makes this an extraordinary photo.

Life on a Sponge

goby feeding
A Striped triplefin ready to feed on spionid worms

These tiny worms live on various sponges. Sometimes, their mud tunnels can be observed on the surface of a sponge. Researches of Polydorella spionid worms in the Red Sea found sand grains in the intestines of the worms. For such a tiny creature, a sand grain is large to swallow. Scientists do not know why these worms would swallow sand grains, since they have no nutritional value. However, speculation is that worms help keep a sponge surface clean. In that way, the sponge enjoys benefit from hosting such tiny creatures.

In the photograph, the double whips coming from the worm’s head are used to gather food from the water or surface of the sponge. The motion of mass feeding caught the eye of our dive master in February 2019 when the photograph was taken.

Additionally, a couple of years later in June 2021, another of our dive masters photographed a Striped triplefin (Helcogramma striatum) eating Polydorella spionid worms. They were on an orange sponge.

These two photographs show how skilled Miguel’s Diving staff are in finding unusual critters in the ocean. For your chance to dive with our excellent dive masters, please make your dive reservations directly with Miguel’s Diving.  

Blacksaddle filefish mimics a toxic toby

Blacksaddle fishfish is a cute, tropical fish found occasionally throughout Gorontalo’s coral reefs. However, its saddle patterning closely resembles a toxic pufferfish.

Batesian Mimicry

A natural phenomenon where a harmless species mimics a harmful one is Batesian Mimicry. It gets its name from Henry Bates. He was a nineteen century English naturalist. He first detected this phenomenon among species of butterflies from the Amazon.

In Batesian mimicry, a mimic species will resemble a model species. In doing so, the mimic gains protection. So, predators mistake the harmless species for the harmful one.

Blacksaddle filefish and Blacksaddle toby

Blacksaddle filefish
Blacksaddle filefish

The scientific name of this filefish is Paraluteres prionurus. The toxic toby it resembles is Canthigaster valentine. Its skin and certain internal parts are toxic if swallowed. Tobies are small pufferfish species.

At a casual glance

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, both species appear identical! However, divers can carefully observe distinctions. Most noticeable are the differing dorsal fins. The dorsal fin of a Blacksaddle filefish will be long, extending all the way to the tail base. However, the Blacksaddle toby has a tiny dorsal fin near the tail.

Naturally, filefish have a dorsal spine located behind the eyes that tobies lack. Sometimes, a filefish will flick its spine upwards. More often, the spine tucks unseen onto the fish’s head. Only male Blacksaddle tobies have beautiful blue lines streaming behind their eyes. However

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, a male Blacksaddle filefish has four yellowish spines projecting from his tail base. These resemble a small brush.

Where to find Paraluteres prionurus

The Blacksaddle filefish live near the surface to a depth of 25 meters. Its maximum length is 11 centimeters. However

, most are about half that size or smaller. This fish is scattered throughout Indo-Pacific waters. It prefers clear lagoons and coral reefs that face the ocean. Although adults are usually in pairs, they often swim with Blacksaddle tobies. This behavior gives extra protection to the mimic filefish. 

For your chance to see a Blacksaddle filefish or toby

, please make your dive reservations directly with Miguel’s Diving.  

Sculptured Slipper lobster in Gorontalo

Sculptured Slipper lobster live in the coral rich reefs of Gorontalo, Indonesia’s hidden paradise. However, divers rarely see this crustacean because it is nocturnal.

The Sculptured Slipper lobster at a Glance  

Sculptured Slipper lobster
A slipper lobster in Gorontalo

The Sculptured Slipper lobster has a distinctive appearance. Its body is flat like slipper. Also

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, it appears to have two mittens that it holds in front of its eyes. Its body is mottled with various patches of yellow, brown, and black. Many short hairs and tubercles cover its body, and the lower edges of its body appear to have short teeth. These teeth appear banded in yellow, orange, and lavender. In addition to two distinct eyes, it has a pair of short antennae that it can raise or lower between its mittens.

Although it can scurry on its six legs, its fastest movement is swimming backwards. To do that, it uses the muscles in its tail.

The usual length for a Sculptured Slipper lobster is between ten and fifteen centimeters. Males can grow up to twenty centimeters.

They are typically active at night and found above 20 meters in depth. Although in other places in the world

, they frequent sandy bottoms with mixed coral and rocks, in Gorontalo we have only spotted them in coral rich areas.

As a bottom dweller, its preferred meal consists of molluscs, shrimps, crabs, and even urchins.

Names and Locations

The scientific name for Sculptured Slipper lobster is Parribacus antarcticus. It is the dominant species. There are five other species of the Parribacus genus. Although the scientist Lund named it antarcticus in 1793

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, this slipper lobster does not live in Antarctica!

Parribacus antarcticus
The head of Parribacus antarcticus

In Indonesia

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, it is called by various names, depending on location. These include udang laut lebar, miyu uhut, ketam gonosso, udang pasir laut, and uhut. Gorontalo people call it hele paupau.

Although English speakers commonly call it a slipper lobster, it is not actually a lobster. It lacks claws and only has a pair in pinchers, which are slightly smaller than its legs. Its meat is only found in its tail.

Parribacus antarcticus lives in separate populations in warm oceans worldwide. One is off the east coast of Africa, including Madagascar. In the central Indian Ocean, Sri Langka is its home. Its largest range is the Indo-Pacific Ocean, including Polynesia. The Hawaiian islands also host the Sculptured Slipper lobster. Lastly, it lives in the southern Carribean from Florida to Brazil.

For your chance to see a slipper lobster in Gorontalo, please make your dive reservations directly with Miguel’s Diving.  

Bodianus dictynna thrives in Gorontalo

Bodianus dictynna is commonly found in Gorontalo’s coral rich reefs. This species was scientifically described in 2006. Since it is only found in the Pacific Ocean, the common name is Pacific Diana hogfish.

One Goddess, Two Species

For decades, divers and fish enthusiasts thought that there was only a single species of Diana hogfish. However, based on Dr. Martin F. Gomon’s extensive research, populations were separated in 2006. The Diana hogfish in the Indian Ocean remain Bodianus diana, whereas the newly named Bodianus dictynna lives in the Pacific Ocean. Both are very similar in appearance. So

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, the best way to recognize the species is simply by location.

Bodianus dictynna
Bodianus dictynna with a Salvador Dali sponge

Both Latin word diana and dictynna refer to the Roman goddess Diana. She was the moon goddess and famous huntress. The genus name Bodianus comes from a Portuguese word that means modesty. As a result of Gomon’s research

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, scientists now recognize 45 species of Bodianus. These are found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans.

Bodianus dictynna in Gorontalo

The Pacific Diana hogfish lives in warm

, tropical waters. It lives as far north and south as Japan and Australia. Its eastern boundary is Tonga. No one knows yet how the recent volcanic explosion there will affect fish life. For unknown reasons

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, this hogfish species is rare in the central Pacific plate.

As to habitat, Bodianus dictynna prefers coral reefs. Juveniles frequent black corals and gorgonians. The juveniles also like the ceilings of underwater caverns. So

, Gorontalo’s Jinn Caves dive site is a great place to search for this fish.

Divers should note that juveniles have a color pattern distinct from adults. Juveniles have a maroon and white maze pattern with distinctive black spots. These spots are on both ventral and dorsal fins as well as on the tail’s end. A terminal phase male sports a large black spot on the end of his dorsal fin. Also, he will have a black spot on mid anal and pelvic fins.

Adults eat molluscs and crustaceans. Juveniles eat parasites off the skin of other fish. Adults mate in pairs.

For your chance to see a Pacific Diana hogfish in Gorontalo, please make your dive reservations directly with Miguel’s Diving.  

    

Entoprocta on solitary tunicates in Gorontalo

Entroprocta is a division of extremely small aquatic animals that mostly live in colonies. Their body shapes look like tasseled tulips on long stalks. Miguel’s Diving staff often find them.

A Speckled, White Halo  

Entoprocta colony on a tunicate
Entoprocta colony on a yellow tunicate

In Gorontalo

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, Miguel’s Diving staff see colonies of Entoprocta growing on the surface of certain solidary tunicates. Tunicates are actually animals, as well. We do not know which genus or species we most common here. These colonies look like a transparent forest sprouting from the tunicates surface. Individual entoprocts appear to have a dark spot. Sharp focus with a good lens is required to see the colony and its individuals.

Not a Flower

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, but an Animal

Entoprocta is a phylum of animals. All but two of 150 species are found in the world’s oceans. The other two live in fresh water. As adults, they cannot relocate, so they are sessile. An individual measures between 0.1 and 7 millimeters tall. An adult appears to be a tall stalk with a tulip on top. The top is ringed with solid tentacles. Moving their microscopic hairs or cilia creates a current that draws plankton into their mouths.

Both the mouth and anus lie inside this tentacle-ringed tulip. In fact, the name Entoprocta means inside anus.

Scientists call these critters zooids because they are not fully independent animals. In many ways they resemble bryozoans. However, anatomy and feeding are different.

Stalks of colonial Entoprocta rise from a shared foundation. This can be a plate or a network of tubes, which are called stolon. Solitary entoprocts are firmly anchored with a muscular foot. They will exhibit a nodding motion. Remarkably

, some solitary species can move by creeping or by doing somersaults.

Entoprocta sketch from Wikimedia Commons

Reproduction of Entoprocta species

Both colonical and solitary entoprocts can reproduce sexually or by cloning. Depending on the species

, unfertilized eggs are released into the water column. Other species have a pouch where the eggs mature then hatch. Some species even have an organ like a placenta to nourish the developing young.

Upon hatching

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, the larvae swim until they attach to a suitable surface. There, they will change into the adult form as described above. Moreover, the larvae will move its gut from pointing down to facing up. In this way, both mouth and anus face upwards. That is the most distinctive characteristic of Entoprocta.

All species can reproduce by budding. New zooids form from the network of stolon. Or, they can grow from a stalk. These will be clones of the parent. In this way, large colonies can form. Perhaps that is what we commonly see in Gorontalo.

As for entoprocts in Gorontalo, only Miguel’s Diving staff know about this marine animal. For your chance to see a colony of them, please make your dive reservations with us.

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Green turtle pays a visit to Gorontalo reefs

Green turtle is a species only occasionally seen along Gorontalo’s dense coral reefs. Adult green turtles are strictly vegetarian and so live near sea grass flats. Those seen at Gorontalo dive sites are migrating between sea grass areas in western Gorontalo to those in North Sulawesi Province. Divers will usually see Hawksbill turtles here.

Green Turtle Identification

green turtle on reef
The beautiful shell pattern of Green turtle

Both Green and Hawksbill turtles have similar appearances. However, certain features help identify both species. Green turtles have a single pair of large scales between their eyes. These are called prefrontal scales. Hawksbills have two pairs of small scales. Also, a hawksbill turtle has a distinctive hook on its beak, whereas a green turtle will have a rounded beak. Green turtles have smooth shells with smooth edges, whereas a hawksbill’s shell edges will be clearly serrated

, especially towards the tail. Lastly, an adult Green turtle has a single claw on each front flipper, whereas a Hawksbill turtle will have two. Oftentimes, the shell of a green turtle will be highly polished with visible patterning.

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, Green turtles can grow up to a meter and a half in length. Also , they can weigh up to 400 kilograms. Those found in Indonesia are usually no longer than one meter.

Although baby green turtles eat a variety of things, adults shift to a plant diet. That means they eat mainly sea grass and marine algae. The common name green turtle comes from the fact that the fat found under this turtle’s shell is distinctively green in color. Scientists suspect the color is a result of the vegetarian diet. Also, this turtle’s scientific name is Chelonia mydas.

Moreover, should a diver notice the tail of a Green turtle, that turtle will be male. Only a male’s tail is long enough to protrude from under its shell.  

Breathing in Sea Turtles

Divers know that sea turtles spend most of their lives underwater. However, they must breathe oxygen from the air. While traveling to dive sites in Gorontalo

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, guests might notice when a turtle’s head breaks the surface. One breath is enough to exhale stale air and replace it with fresh air. A green turtle will dive for about four to five minutes. Then it will surface for a couple of seconds to catch a breath. Divers should never interfere with sea turtles while trying to breathe. Sea turtles will sleep in a safe place. During sleep, respiration slows considerably.

Nesting Sea Turtles

turtle on the reef
Pausing on a Gorontalo reef

A female sea turtle will reach forty to sixty years in age before laying her first eggs. Breeding females will lay eggs every two years. They will lay these every two to three weeks. They lay 50 to 150 eggs each time.

The temperature of the sand determines the sex of the hatchlings. Research on green turtles find that higher temperatures produce males

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, whereas lower temperatures produce females. Scientists worry that rising ocean temperatures from climate change will result in too few female green turtles.

A female sea turtle will crawl onto a sandy beach at night. Then she will dig a hole to lay eggs and recover them. Scientists believe they return to the beach of their birth to lay eggs.

Baby turtles will hatch about two months of incubation. They will usually hatch about the same time. Then they crawl as quickly as possible to the sea. Many predators from birds to large fish eat baby sea turtles. The chances of surviving to adulthood are very small. Humans still collect eggs and hunt sea turtles. This is illegal in Indonesia.

Although land turtles can pull head and flippers inside the shell

, sea turtles cannot.

For your chance to see a green turtle in Gorontalo, please make your dive reservations directly with Miguel’s Diving.  

Cuvier’s beaked whales dive deep off Gorontalo

Cuvier’s beaked whales often swim past locals fishing for Yellowfin tuna. Known for their diving ability, this medium-sized whale loves Gorontalo’s four-kilometer-deep waters.

A Pair of Cuvier’s Beaked Whales Caught on Video

Video of Cuvier’s beaked whales by Miguel’s Diving staff

Since Miguel’s Diving staff are all local fishermen, they will often take their small outrigger canoes into the deep ocean. There, they will handline Yellowfin tuna. One day, Boka noticed two Cuvier’s beaked whales swimming far offshore. He captured their passing using his cell phone. Local fishermen in Gorontalo are familiar with many cetacean species, including this one. The very small dorsal fin is one clue. Another is their brownish coloration.

These whales usually swim in small pods of two to seven individuals. However, males can be solitary. As seen in the video, the body and head emerge from the water while swimming. However, they do little breaching. Before taking a deep dive to feed, they will arch their backs.  

A Living Fossil Gets a Name

French naturalist Georges Cuvier was analyzing a skull fragment for his research. He mistakenly concluded that it was a fossil from an extinct species. That was in 1823. However, several decades after his death, other researchers discovered the skull belonged to a living whale. Moreover, it lives worldwide in temperate, tropical, and subtropical oceans. That is where the Cuvier’s beaked whale gets its name. Its scientific name is Ziphius cavirostris.

Cuvier’s beaked whales
Sketch of Cuvier’s Beaked Whale by NOAA Fisheries

The body color of this whale varies from dark gray to rusty brown. Individual whales can have very different appearances. As the whale ages

, its head grows whiter. This is more pronounced in males. Moreover, adult males possess two large, cylindrical teeth. These protrude from the lower jaw. As observable in the video, these whales keep their distance from boats and humans. For anyone lucky enough to see a Cuvier’s beaked whale close up

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, most noticeable will be the smiling appearance of its jaw. Also, many scars will be visible. Bites from cookie-cutter sharks, lampreys, and deep-squid are the cause of this scarring.

Deep Dive Record Holders

Cuvier’s beaked whales are famous deep divers. For that reason, they normally inhabit waters deeper than one kilometer. The ocean depths of Tomini Bay along Gorontalo’s southern coastline plunge more than four times that depth. These whales dive deep for squid. They will also eat fish and crustaceans. Hunting at such extreme depths requires the use of echolocation to find squid to eat.

The Cuvier’s beaked whale is the deepest diving mammal in the world. Its deepest recorded depth for diving is around three kilometers. In order to dive that deeply, this whale must have incredible breath-holding ability.

In fact, in a 2020 study from Duke University USA analyzed around 3,700 deep dives by Cuvier’s beaked whales. The research team placed satellite tags on 23 whales. The study lasted five years. The median time spent diving for food lasted about one hour. After that, the whale surfaced to breathe. However, one male shattered old records with two extreme dives. One dive lasted almost three hours. His longest dive lasted three hours and forty-two minutes

Cuvier’s beaked whales can live up to sixty years. An adult whale measures between five and seven meters in length.

For your chance to watch passing cetaceans from our dive boat, please make your dive reservations with us.

Healthy Coral Growth Evident in Gorontalo’s Reefs

Healthy coral growth is a notable characteristic of Gorontalo’s pristine reefs. Hard corals, known as scleractinians, dominate the marine environment here. Situated in the center of the Indo-Pacific’s Coral Triangle, Gorontalo displays highly diverse and dense corals.  

Diverse Acropora coral colonies

One genus of Gorontalo’s hard corals is Acropora. Acropora coral colonies can form tables or branches, depending on the species. In fact, there are over 140 species of Acropora.

healthy coral with polyps
Acropora with coral polyp tentacles protruding

Scleractinian corals are actually animals that live in a surrounding calcium structure. The animal is a a coral polyp. It is shaped like a tube with a single opening at one end. Tentacles usually ring this opening and function to gather plankton for food. Waste is expelled through the same opening. These tentacles can protrude or retract from the surrounding structure. Moreover, these tentacles gather passing plankton to eat. The embedded end of a coral polyp is connected to the entire coral colony via shared tissue and a nerve net. Moreover, all Acropora species are colonial.

Most Acropora species share a common distinction. The individual coral polyp is encased in a small tube that projects from the common substructure. This is true whether the Acropora forms a flat table or forms branches. Upon close inspection, divers can observe this distinction. However, determining the species of an Acropora colony requires microscopic analysis of its calcium skeleton.

Ringed in White

For the most part, the coloration of Acropora colonies comes from algae living inside the tissue of coal polyps. These algae are symbiotic. By process of photosynthesis, they convert sunlight into energy. This energy is more than the algae needs, so the surplus is passed to the coral polyp host. Scientists suspect that algae provides up to 98% of the nutrients health coral colonies need to survive.

Most divers know that rising ocean temperatures can cause the algae to vacate its coral host. If the algae does not return, within a matter of weeks the coral starves to death.

healthy coral
Acropora table corals with healthy white edges

Some divers are shocked to see Acropora colonies in Gorontalo ringed in white. They conclude that the coral is experiencing dangerous bleaching. However

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, this white edging is actually indicates rapid coral growth. In fact, the colony edges represent new coral growth. Algae has not yet had time to assimilate into the new coral polyps on the edge of the healthy coral colony.

Healthy Coral Environmental Conditions

Gorontalo Province is free from chemical producing factories. This means water contamination is very low. Also, frequent wave action creates high amounts of oxygenation. Located just north of the equator, Gorontalo enjoys an abundance of sunlight. All these elements are necessary for healthy coral growth.

Gorontalo’s health coral reefs are waiting for you to enjoy. So, please make your dive reservations directly with Miguel’s Diving.

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