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Reef Walking in Fiji

Reef walking and exploring low tide creatures in Savusavu, Fiji.Reef walking is always fun for all ages and not just kids.

You always see something new to see in the sea.

Let’s see what we will find today. Oh look, this is a large snail. It is commonly known as the tiger cowrie. It is a species of cowry. It measures up to 15 cm (6 in) in length. The Tiger Cowrie (Cypraea Tigris) is one of the most recognized and most variable of the cowries. Its coloration can range from very pale to almost completely black, but is generally made up of a pale base color with darker, irregular spots and blotches. Cowrie Snails are well known to shell collectors for their attractive shells and are popular among aquarists for algae control. They look like oval-shaped domes in appearance, much like the top half of a football (the American kind). Their shells are usually very shiny and have a "polished" appearance. This is due in large part to the fact that the shell is usually covered and protected by the animal's mantle. This mantle may be similar to the coloration of the shell or may be very different from it, depending on the species. The mantle and animal extend from a slit-like opening on the underside of the shell instead of a round opening like other snails.

Cowries are algae eaters and grazers. They need plenty of algae to graze on, both tiny microalgae and larger macro algae, like the filamented hair algae that plague some aquariums. Only some very closely related snails prey on gorgonians and other soft corals.

While cowries are safe for reefs in that they will not eat coral, polyps or other similar invertebrates, some do get rather large. With this size comes a certain amount of clumsiness and they may topple corals or rockwork as they move, causing some physical damage on their way. I just love to see how this snail moves around.

Let’s see what else we will find today. Of course we are surrounded by brittle stars, they are everywhere.

Look, what I found, Linckialaevigata (sometimes called the "blue Linckia" or blue star) is a species of sea star in the shallow waters of tropical Indo-Pacific. I just love the color of this sea star. These sea stars may grow up to 30 cm (11.8 in) in diameter, with some lighter or darker spots along each of their arms.'

Now this is not usual, It’s the same Blue star but it’s a 4-armed specimen.

Every time I come here I am not sure what I will find. It’s a real adventure.

Look here!This strange critter also belongs to the sea cucumber family. The snake sea cucumber is a species of sea cucumber in the family Synaptidae. It is found in shallow waters in the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean, sometimes growing as long as 3 m - 10 ft. This sea cucumber is a long, slender sea cucumber with fifteen tentacles. The tentacles of Synaptamaculata surround the mouth and are used in surface feeding. They are about 2.5 cm - 1 inch long when extended and have a short stem and a feather-like blade with thirty to forty pairs of pinnules. The tentacles are in continuous motion; they flatten themselves against the substrate or sea grass leaf blades and collect food particles by adhesion, then bend inwards until the tips are in the mouth. The whole process takes only a few seconds, and several tentacles can deliver their loads at the same time. If the animal is disturbed, the tentacles can contract back into the pharynx, but before long they are out again, collecting more particles. Well, it was a great find. Let’s see what else we can discover.

Look at this sea snail. Sea snail is a common name for snails that normally live in saltwater, in other words marine gastropods. Many species of sea snails are edible and exploited as food sources by humans. This one looks like has a shell inside her body, maybe she is afraid to lose it. Ha ha.Amazing what different creatures one can find every time we reef walk. Or look at the local fisherman or this fisher-dog. He special because he looks under rocks for eels.

I really have to watch carefully when I reef walk to be sure I don’t step on anything I should not. You never know what hides under the rock.

Oh, look here, I can’t believe that I actually found a real seahorse. I thought that seahorses swim very poorly but this little guy swims away from us quite quickly. So we can just get a glimpse of him. My first seahorse I saw in real life. Did you ever see a seahorse in real life?

Looks like I am not only one who is fishing today. For me it’s only pleasure of making pictures of sealife.

A sea cucumber also looks slug-like and is sometimes loosely called a "Sea Slug", but it is not a gastropod. Sea cucumbers are echinoderms from the class Holothuroidea. They are marine animals with a leathery skin. The sea cucumbers are named after their resemblance to the fruit of the cucumber plant. If I am right Fiji stopped agreements with other countries for commercial fishing in its territory, so we can see a lot more sea cucumbers now than before.

You often can see local ladies fishing on the edge of the coral reef at low tide, collecting crabs and other creatures. People depend on sea to find all sort of seafood.

Well let’s see what else we will find. Oh my, I can’t believe. Look here. These species of sea snake dwell along Fiji’s rugged coastlines, where they will come ashore to rest. One of these species is the highly venomous black-and-white-banded sea snake, which is often found in lagoons or along Fiji’s shores. However, they will not attack people unless they are provoked. At night, they will come to shore and may even enter buildings and homes, so you should watch out for them, outdoors and indoors, in the evening.

While their venom is 20 times stronger than any land snake, it is reported that that their little mouths are so small, they can only open wide enough to bite the webbing between a baby’ fingers – not that we are game enough to test that theory mind you – so best to admire them from a distance!