• Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

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Category Archives: Marine Life

Hairy frogfish video

Hairy frogfish video makes for compelling watching, especially one in which the fish actively lures potential prey. This video from Gorontalo shows a Hairy frogfish doing exactly that.

Striated or Hairy?

The scientific name of the fish in the Hairy frogfish video is Antennarius striatus. As such, it is commonly called Striated frogfish. This particular fish species has such a variable appearance that neither “striated” nor “hairy” accurately describe each individual found in nature. That includes the one in the video from Gorontalo. The fish’s environment determines its exterior appearance to a large extent. In fact, if a particular frogfish moves to a different environment, it will change appearance within three weeks to match. That means that the elongated blotches or the long filaments on the skin may not be apparent on any particular individual fish. It can sport almost any color.

photo from Hairy frogfish video
Notice the lure

Moreover, the best feature for positively identifying Antennarius striatus is its lure.

A Unique Lure

The first dorsal spine in many frogfish species is free moving. Called an illicium, this spine acts like a fishing pole. At the end of the illicium of Antennarius striatus is a fleshy lure. The unique lure or esca of this species of frogfish is long, extending perpendicularly from each side of the lure. Many descriptions of this frogfish say that the lure looks like a worm, However, that is not particularly true of the one seen in the Hairy frogfish video from Gorontalo. Take a look and notice its pale color and spots. This one looks more like a shrimp dancing above the rubble. When not in action, the lure will rest on the forehead of the frogfish.

Hairy Frogfish Video

As you watch this video from Gorontalo, notice the way the frogfish pulls itself along the sandy bottom. It is using its pectoral fins. This is a distinctive movement of various frogfish.

Judging by how active it is, both in flicking its lure and pulling itself to a new position, this frogfish is clearly hungry. It is on the hunt! Many frogfish species, including the Hairy frogfish, have a large mouth. As a result, a frogfish can extended its mouth forward and swallow prey as large as itself. That also means that its stomach has plenty of room.

Typically, frogfish lie motionless using its well-adapted coloration to remain unseen. The videographer never saw this Hairy frogfish catch anything. Perhaps too much movement was to blame. 

Hairy frogfish usually eat other fish. Unlike other species of frogfish, the lure or esca of Antennarius striatus has an additional feature. It is able to secrete a scent that attracts unsuspecting prey to its wiggling lure. This species also can live in waters deeper than other frogfish species. It is found in seas worldwide, except in the Mediterranean and the Arctic. Although the individual seen in the video is very small, it can grow up to 22 centimeters in length.   

Hairy frogfish are only found at a few of Gorontalo’s muck diving sites. This sites are best suited for experienced divers with excellent buoyancy control. For your chance to watch a Hairy frogfish in Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Arothron immaculatus Emerges from Hiding

Arothron immaculatus or the Immaculate puffer is rarely seen in coral dense environments typical of Gorontalo. But one day it make a surprise appearance.

Hiding on a Sandy Bottom

Arothron immaculatus
An Immaculate puffer tries camouflage

One day a dive master from Miguel’s Diving spotted the bright yellow eye of a fish trying to hiding itself in the white sand bottom. By the way, one of the common names for Arothron immaculatus is Yellow-eyed puffer. Knowing it had been seen, the fish tried to flick more sand over its oval-shaped body. However, its brilliant eyes and strange tufts on top its nose remained clearly visible. It shifted around closer to a mass of corals, revealing a mottled pattern as the grains of white sand began to fall off its body. After posing for a few photos, the fish decided to flee across the white sand bottom. It even and pale color could help it hide undetected there.

Arothron immaculatus around the Pacific  

This Immaculate puffer can be found through Indo-Pacific waters. It clearly prefers sandy or silty bottoms near coral reefs or shallow estuaries. The Arothron immaculatus seen in Gorontalo was living at one of our alternate muck diving sites. The site is called Mystic Point. It is close to the estuary of Bone River. That dive site is known for its relatively poor coral but has a white sand bottom that is rare for our area of Gorontalo. That site has marine life only found there, like the Twin-eyed goby and the Immaculate puffer. This puffer can also be found near mangroves and seagrass beds. Western Gorontalo has those environments, so perhaps this puffer can also be found there.

This puffer is usually solitary and rarely in large numbers in its environments. It is found between three and thirty meters. It is mostly carnivorous.

Arothron immaculatus in Gorontalo
Arothron immaculatus in Gorontalo

Arothron immaculatus has some distinctive markings that help confirm its identity. Apart from its beautiful eyes and nose tufts, its body is basically plain, unless it is sporting the botches of its camouflaged mode. Moreover, it has a large dark patch around its pectoral fin base. Also, it has dark upper and lower margins on its tail fin. A similar species is Arothron manilensis. However, the Manila puffer has distinct thin lines on its body.

The Quixotic and Toxic Puffer

Puffer fish have quite distinctive bodies. This includes tough skin and a dental plate in their beak-like mouth. What they lack is more notable. They lack fin spines and ribs. As a result, they can inflate their stomachs with water when afraid. Moreover, their skin, gonads and liver contain two toxins. These are tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin. Some species are more toxic than others. Because different puffer species have similar body shapes, identification is most accurate when using color patterns.

For your chance to see one of Gorontalo’s puffer fish, please book your dive trip with us.

Thysanoteuthis rhombus egg masses

Thysanoteuthis rhombus egg masses are rarely seen. However, one of them drifted near Miguel’s Diving speed boat during a surface interval. It looked like a giant pink and transparent version of a child’s slinky toy.

Thysanoteuthis rhombus egg masses

Thysanoteuthis rhombus egg mass floats on the surface

Thysanoteuthis rhombus egg masses

Mysterious, deep water squids lay eggs in spirals. A gelatinous case holds the long spirals together. After the fertilization process is complete, the egg mass will float with ocean currents near the surface.

Thysanoteuthis rhombus egg masses can measure up to 1.8 meters in length. Each tiny pink pearl is actually a squid egg. A single egg case carries between 24 and 43 thousand eggs inside its transparent case. The egg mass the Miguel’s Diving staff discovered measured about one meter.

diamond squid egg mass detail
Detail of diamond squid egg mass

Thysanoteuthis rhombus egg masses drift with strong currents in warm tropical waters. Seeing them is indeed a rare event. This occurrence marks only the second time Miguel’s Diving staff have discovered this type of egg mass during our 16 years of operation.

Diamond Squid from the Depths

This deep water squid is sometimes called diamond or diamondback squid. It has distinctive fins that run its body length. Its scientific name, Thysanoteuthis rhombus, describes its rhombic shape. Its arms are noticeably short. However, it can grow up to 100 centimeters and weigh up to 30 kilograms.   

This diamond quid lives in the deeper parts of the ocean during the day. Trawlers have found it at depths below two kilometers! Since Tomini Bay, where Miguel’s Diving operates, plunge to twice that depth, no one should be surprised to learn deep sea squid live in Gorontalo waters. At night, it will rise nearer the ocean surface. It is found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas.

The beautiful Thysanoteuthis rhombus egg masses come from mating pair. The diamond squid are the only cephalopod known to remain in the same mating pair for life. Fishermen observed that if one of the pair is caught, its mate will remain in the area until it is caught as well. Diamond squid naturally live about one year.  

Thysanoteuthis rhombus sketch

Thysanoteuthis rhombus adult

Deep Water Encounter

This squid is fished commercially in Japan. Other predators include tuna, swordfish, sharks, Rough-toothed dolphins, as well as False Killer and Sperm whales. Miguel’s Diving staff have observed all of those predators in the Gorontalo waters of Tomini Bay.

Although divers are unlikely to see these deep water Thysanoteuthis rhombus egg masses anywhere in the world, our guests often see other pelagic species. For your chance to meet deep water marine life in Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Melibe viridis video from Gorontalo

Melibe viridis is a highly unusual nudibranch found throughout the Indo-Pacific region. It uses an oral hood like a net to capture live prey to eat.

M. viridis in Gorontalo
Melibe viridis hunting for prey

A Camouflaged and Cumbersome Nudibranch

Imagine the surprise of divers to see a brownish mass twisting in the current over a muck diving site! That turned out to be a rarely seen Melibe viridis nudibranch.  Viridis is a term describing young foliage. This is an apt description of a creature with parallel branches growing at spaced intervals and perpendicular to its body.   Without movement, this creature would blend perfectly into the coloration of the ocean bottom. Numerous bumps  and tufts mark M. viridis distinctively. One diver captured these movements in a dramatic Melibe viridis video. This one measured about 8 cm long. Notice that its front left branch is stripped of its warty bark.

M. viridis video from Gorontalo

On another day our divers found one measuring only two centimeters. This second M. viridis had somehow lost all its branches. Some had started growing back. However without those distracting cerata, divers could clearly see the way this nudibranch crawls on the long central foot. It leaves a mucous trail. This small one appears the second part of the video. Water that day was much greener than the previous day. 

Watch this nudibranch twist its body and launch itself into the current. With twisting movements of its body, it succeeded in moving farther along the sloping sand bottom.

Melibe viridis Searching for Food

Melibe nudibranchs have a unique way of searching for food.They are active carnivores and use an oral hood. Imagine the divers’ further surprise to watch this nudibranch hunt for food.

In a rhythmical manner, the nudibranch will cast its hood forward. On the inside edges of the oral hood, this type of nudibranch has short papillae, which sense movement. Sometimes, these are visible in the video. The Melibe tries to trap small crabs and shrimps its oral hood. Once trapped, the live prey gets dumped into the oral opening for consumption. The video clearly shows this unique way of hunting for food.

young M. viridis
Young Melibe viridis missing its cerata

Worldwide, there are about 17 valid species of Melibe. Like other nudibranchs, Melibe are hermaphrodites. M. viridis grows up to 13 centimeters. Its color varies widely from light to dark, depending on the coloration of the substrate.

Only lucky divers will ever see a Melibe viridis searching for prey. However, for your chance to see one in Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Acanthosphex leurynnis Discovered in Gorontalo

Acanthosphex leurynnis, a rarely seen type of waspfish, recently made an appearance in Gorontalo.

Surprising Find: Acanthosphex leurynnis

Acanthosphex leurynnis grows
A rare Wasp-spine velvetfish lies in the sand

During a great muck dive in February 2018, one of our guests discovered an unusual fish. Initially, Miguel’s Diving staff assumed it was a juvenile Cockatoo waspfish, which is often seen at the Tambo’o Fish House Dive Site. That muck site continues to thrill divers with its variety and density of marine critters.

Fortunately, Wolfgang from Germany took a photo of the fish. Then staff sent the photo to a marine identification community on Facebook. A longtime marine biologist working in Pacific Asia identified the fish for us. It turned out to be a Wasp-spine velvetfish. Its scientific name is Acanthosphex leurynnis. It is the only species in its genus. This fish is so seldom seen that it is missing from even large volume fish books. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History possesses specimens of Acanthosphex leurynnis from Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan and Australia.

The Wasp-spine velvetfish grows to a maximum of nine centimeters. Its coloration tends to be dark to light mottled brown. Additionally, white patches occur randomly on its body. It has two spines pointing behind its eye and four more behind its chin. Also, the chin has a pair of short tentacles. Given its small size and camouflaged coloration, divers rarely see this singular fish.

Waspfish of the World

Although Acanthosphex leurynnis is not technically a waspfish, it is generally grouped with waspfish species. Worldwide, there are forty species of waspfish. However, because they are secretive and nocturnal, divers rarely seen them. Some waspfish have venomous spines that can cause painful stings. Waspfish eat shrimps and other small invertebrates. Typically, the tall dorsal fin on the head is the distinguishing characteristic of waspfish.

Waspfish in Gorontalo

Cockatoo waspfish Ablabys taenianotus
A Cockatoo waspfish pretends to be a dead leaf

Besides the unusual sighting of Acanthosphex leurynnis, divers in Gorontalo are most likely to see Cockatoo waspfish (Ablabys taenianotus). This fish has great camouflage and looks like a dead, brown leaf laying in the sand. They are often in pairs. So, careful divers will look for another one if one is already found. Although this waspfish tends to be dull brown, it can have white on its face.

In Gorontalo, divers will only see waspfish at a single dive site, Tambo’o Fish House. A careful diver will check each dead leaf lying on the sand. If spotted, a waspfish will pretend that a slight current is pushing it about and moving it away. The motions are quite clever!

It lives in the western Pacific Ocean, including northern Australia and Japan. Despite what some guidebooks or interet postings claim, it does not live in the Indian Ocean. The waspfish that lives there is a different species, Ablabys binotatus.

Spiny waspfish Ablabys macrancanthus
A Spiny waspfish sketch

Actually, another waspfish lives only in Indonesia and the Philippines. It is the Spiny waspfish (Ablabys macrancanthus). Distinguishing it in the ocean from the Cockatoo waspfish is extremely difficult. According to marine biologists, the spines of the Ablabys macrancanthus protrude from its dorsal fin. Hence its common name Spiny. The guaranteed way to distinguish between the two species is to count dorsal spines. The less common Spiny waspfish has 15 to 16 and the more widespread Cockatoo waspfish has 17 to 18.

Few divers will wish to count waspfish spines! However, for your chance to see a waspfish in Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Mappa Puffer Video

Mappa puffer are usually solitary and wary of divers. One day, however, guests of Miguel’s Diving found one that was too busy eating to care that divers approached for a rare, up-close encounter.

One Pufferfish, Many Names

photo of Mappa puffer
Mappa puffer in Gorontalo

Miguel’s Diving staff call this fish Mappa puffer because its scientific name is Arothron mappa. Other English names include Map puffer, Arothron puffer, Scribbled Arothron puffer and Scribbled puffer. Additionally, this fish can be called pufferfish or simply puffer. Sometimes, pufferfish are called toadfish. As a result, this introduces additional name variations.

Mappa puffer live in tropical and subtropical oceans. Their distribution ranges from the Indian to western Pacific oceans. The key to distinguishing this species from other pufferfishes are the lines that radiate from its eyes. It can grow up to 65 cm in length. Also, pufferfishes like this species lack scales. Divers will see them during the day.

Mappa Puffer Video

This type of pufferfish eats about anything that does not move. It cannot swim fast because of its small fins. Hence, its diet mainly consists of sponges, algae, clams and even coral. However, the Mappa puffer recently encountered in Gorontalo repeated selected something surprising to crunch. Watch the video to see!

This feeding behavior raises questions. Why is it eating dead coral? How can such a soft fish crunch hard coral to bits? The answer perhaps lies inside the mouth of Mappa puffer. It has four strong teeth that keep growing. As a result, this type of pufferfish must crunch on hard things to wear down its teeth.

Eaten at Your Own Risk

As with other pufferfishes, the Mappa puffer can ingest large amounts of water when threatened. In this way, it can swell to twice its usual size. This is how it avoids being eaten. However, pufferfishes like this species are poisonous. Their livers, ovaries and skin contain tetrodotoxin. That poison is an extremely toxic sodium channel blocker. That blocker affects both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Most importantly, it causes paralysis.

The Japanese consider pufferfish meat a delicacy. They call it fugu. Only specially licensed chiefs have permission to prepare the meat. The chief must carefully remove Internal organs and skin prior to consumption. A low dose of tetrodotoxin causes tingling and numbness in the mouth, fingers and toes. Symptoms of a higher dose include nausea, vomiting, difficulty in walking, and paralysis. Most importantly, that paralysis can negatively affect the lungs, leading to respiratory failure. Only one to four milligrams is needed to kill an adult!

Tetrodotoxin has no antidote. The treatment required for recovery is artificial breathing. Mild poisoning can resolve itself within a few hours. More severe cases can require several days. This treatment is considered successful since many people make a full recovery. Heart failure is rare. Most importantly, treatment must begin before paralysis reaches the lungs.

Like many poisons, this one has medical benefits in controlled doses. New studies indicate that it can relieve pain in cancer patients. As such, it could become an alternative for opiates.

Actually, pufferfishes like Arothron mappa are not poisonous themselves. Symbiotic bacteria living inside their tissues produce the poison.

To see but not eat a Mappa puffer in Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Pyrosome video debuts in Gorontalo

Pyrosome video that a guest of Miguel’s Diving shot receives many gasps and questions from those watching it. What is this creature?

Pelagic, Colonial Tunicates

Actually, the strange cone is a colony of Pyrosomes. They are colonial tunicates found floating in the open ocean. As such, they are pelagic. They live and move within a few meters of the ocean surface.

Tunicates are a marine animal with bodies basically shaped like a tube. Some live as single individuals attached to the reef. Others float freely in oceanic waters; these are the pelagic ones. Others live as colonies in a jellylike cloth or tunic. Colonial tunicates can live attached to the reef or to another hard object. Other colonial tunicates live in the open ocean. So, Pyrosomes are pelagic, colonial tunicates.

A Rare Pyrosome Video

Should any scuba diver chance to see a Pyrosome colony, that would be considered an extremely rare event. A Pryrosome video is even more remarkable. As you watch the video, notice that the Pyrosome colony looks fuzzy. Actually, each tiny bump is an individual tunicate. Watch as the colony swims past the sunburst. Each of those black dots is an individual Pyrosome. All are embedded in a common gelatinous body.

A single Pyrosome measures only a few millimeters in size. As with all tunicates, one tiny Pyrosome pulls ocean water inside its body from an outside opening. It filters out plankton to eat. Then it pushes the used water out its other opening. In Pyrosomes, all the expelled water goes into the center of the Pyrosome cone. Then the water is expelled out its common, large opening.

Also notice in the video some holes in the Pyrosome cone. Evidently, a predator has nibbled some of it.

Clones of the Ocean

A colony of Pyrosomes are actually a collection of clones. Tunicates can reproduce sexually. A tunicate born in this way will float as a single larvae in the open ocean. Among colonial tunicates, the single new animal will then start to reproduce asexually. Basically, it makes a clone of itself. As the colony grows, the reproduction process by cloning continues.

A Pyrosome colony begins small. In fact, the day before this video was shot, guests of Miguel’s Diving encountered a small colony. It looked like a fuzzy thimble. Over time and in favorable conditions, a colony can grow to over ten meters in length. Its opening can expand to over two meters – large enough to enclose a human! However, remember that Pyrosomes only eat plankton filtered through those hundreds of thousands of tiny individuals.

Light and Movement

The scientific name of this genus is Pyrosoma. That comes from two Latin words pryo “fire” and soma “body.” Pyrosomes are famous among sailors on the open ocean for their bioluminescent abilities. Unlike other creatures that can bioluminesce, Pyrosomes can emit sustained light that can be seen for up to ten meters away. This is particularly notable at night. One Pyrosome can emit light, which in turn triggers a response from its neighbors in the colony. This looks like flashes of light. The entire colony can also light up. Their blue-green light can be seen up to 30 meters away. Moreover, one floating colony that lights up can elicit a light response from other Pyrosome colonies floating nearby.

Each individual Pyrosome has tiny hairs. These are called cilia. They move to create a current that brings plankton inside its body. All the individual Pyrosomes expelling used water through the colony’s opening also creates a current. Consider this motion as jet propulsion. Members of a colony can coordinate these motions and move itself through the water column.

Although any diver’s chance to encounter Pyrosomes is rare, guests of Miguel’s Diving can see wonderful marine life. To make arrangements for your trip to Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Orca Video from Gorontalo, Indonesia

Orca video by one of Miguel’s Diving staff is now available for viewing.

Orca Video from Gorontalo

Waters off most dive sites in Gorontalo plunge to hundreds of meters. These deep waters bring large cetaceans close to land. Miguel’s Diving staff have discovered the ocean paths that large sea creatures use.

For the first time this dive season, Miguel’s Diving staff watched a pair of orca cruise just off the wall. Judging by the height of the dorsal fin, the one seen in the orca video is a young male. Watch as he passes the dive boat, breathing and sending spray into the air. Not visible in the orca video is his companion. She is more timid than the male. Perhaps they are in Gorontalo’s calm blue waters for a honeymoon.

Miguel’s Diving staff have actually seen them during several months of 2017. Those sightings were in January, February, June and now December. However, this is the first time that someone was able to shoot a nice video. The original orca video is complete with the sound of the orca breathing and excited human voices in three languages.

Distinctive Form

orca video still
A male orca surfaces to breathe in Gorontalo

Orcas are also called killer whales. Their scientific name is Orcinus orca. They are mammals and the largest member of the dolphin family. Male killer whales are easy to identify. Their dorsal fin is very tall and straight. The body color is jet black with the familiar pure white patches. Females have smaller, curved fins but retain the white patches. Usually orcas swim together in pods.

Marine Predator

Orcas are active marine predators. Orca will eat many things, including squid, fish and sea turtles. They also will eat birds, seals and dolphins. A pod of orca often coordinate their hunting. They will even kill and eat large whales. There are no reported killer whale attacks against divers in the wild.

Diving in Gorontalo is exciting because of the unusual marine life found here. For your chance to experience the beauty of Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Tiger Cowrie on the Move in Gorontalo

Tiger Cowrie can be found occasionally along Gorontalo’s coral reefs.

A Tiger with Spots

Cowries are a family of marine gastropod mollusk. They are basically large snails that live in the ocean. The cowrie pictured here is called Tiger Cowrie because of the original Latin name Cypraea tigris. The famous scientist Linnaeus named it in the 18th century. The shell pattern is not striped like feline tigers but spotted. However, the pattern of a Tiger Cowrie mantle does have striping.

The shell is shaped like an egg and is quite heavy. As with other cowries, the exterior of the shell is very slick. When the snail comes out from the inside of its shell, its mantle wraps around the exterior of the shell. This action keeps its shell clean and polished. In fact, both left and right side of the snail’s mantle extend all the way to the upper half of its shell. This way both sides meet half way, covering the entire shell.

tiger cowrie mantle
Posterior portion of a Tiger Cowrie mantle

More often than not, the mantle of the Tiger Cowrie is completely hidden inside its shell. It only comes out to feed or to move. It usually does so at night. During the day, it usually sleeps under corals or in rubble or sand.

The mantle has dozens of short projections called papillae. These look like many swaying fingers. Also, the tips are white in color. No one knows the function of these papillae.

Life and Habits of Tiger Cowrie

Tiger cowries are found throughout the Indo-Pacific region. This includes Gorontalo. They prefer coral reefs or nearby sandy or rubble bottoms. They are usually at depths between ten and forty meters. The juveniles eat algae, but the adults are carnivorous. Adults eat soft corals, sponges, bryzoans and other invertebrates.

tiger cowrie shell
A shiny sight on the reef

A Tiger Cowrie is either male or female. The mother will guard her eggs with her muscular foot until they are ready to hatch. The larvae then swim away and drift with plankton while they develop.

A cowrie also has a head with eyes and tentacles. Its mouth is like a tube. Its internal organs are kept safe inside the shell.

The Tiger Cowrie is considered threatened in some locations. For example, in Singapore, it is endangered. Direct threats include habitat destruction and shell collecting for souvenirs and the aquarium trade.

For your chance to a spot a Tiger Cowrie in Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

Blacktip Shark Mating in Gorontalo

Blacktip shark mating is a rarely witnessed event. But that is just what happened one dive day in Gorontalo.

The Tell-tale Fin

blacktip shark drawing
The Blacktip Reef shark

The Blacktip Reef shark is the most common shark sighted in Indo-Pacific waters. Its scientific name is Carcharhinus melanopterus. Divers can easily identify this shark by its distinctive, black-tipped dorsal fin. Additionally, its anal fin is also black tipped. It can grow to a maximum length of less than two meters. Actually, another shark also has a narrow tip of black on its dorsal fin. However, this other shark has a pale anal fin. It also can grow to over two and a half meters in length. This oceanic blacktip shark is named Carcharhinus limbatus.

The Blacktip reef shark prefers shallow waters close to shore. Divers should look over reef ledges and flat sandy areas. Two dives sites in Gorontalo often have this shark patrolling sandy flats. That is where we witnessed a rare event.

Blacktip Shark Mating

One fine dive day Miguel’s Diving staff and guests watched two Blacktip reef sharks mating. Two guests had their GoPros ready and we created a combined video. Please watch it on our YouTube site.

You may notice that the male bit the female behind her gills. The love bite does not leave a deep wound. It should heal completely within a month or so. Also, notice that there is much thrashing about. At the end of the video, the sharks end up turning up-side-down and falling into a trance.

Tonic Immobility in Sharks

Some species of sharks become motionless and generally unaware of their surroundings when turned up-side-down. This is called tonic immobility. Once up-side-down, the shark will quickly become catatonic. This strange state can last up to fifteen minutes, as long as the shark remains undisturbed. The shark will eventually snap out of its trance and resume normal activities.

Sharks susceptible to tonic immobility include Whitetip and Blacktip reef sharks, as well as Lemon, Silky, Sandbar and Tiger sharks.

Notice in the video that that ecstatic pair of Blacktip sharks flip up-side-down and become catatonic. They fall together down the reef slope to a deep sand flat below.

For your chance to witness rare marine events in Gorontalo, please book your dive trip with us.

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