How Paddle Crabs Burrow

Paddle crabs are found throughout New Zealand, from almost semi-tropical Northland beaches to the very much colder beaches of Stewart Island in the far south of the country. They live on sandy bottoms in estuaries and surf beaches alike.During the day most crabs remain hidden in temporary burrows e...Read More
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Thrashing Thresher Sharks

This pelagic thresher shark, is from the island of Cebu, in the Philippines. Life here can be a real struggle, and too often, nature comes off second best. It's the last place one would expect to find a rare species of shark. Pelagic thresher sharks are occasionally caught in isolated parts in the...Read More
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It's Behind You!

That's the cry that goes up in pantomime when the villain sneaks up on the hero or heroine, the audience can see what's happening but the hero can't. This must be what it feels like to be a young laysan albatross. Lurking beneath the waves, out of sight, is a deadly foe - a tiger shark.The young b...Read More
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Taro, or the potato of the tropics, is a staple food crop throughout the Pacific. Here, at Ontong Java in the Solomons it is culitvated in the traditional way, by villagers still living a traditional lifestyle. It is grown all year round, and every part of the plant provides food.As the corm is lift...Read More
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Shovel of the Sea

Despite its looks, sea cucumbers, or beche-de-mer, are related to starfish and sea urchins. Basically an elongated leathery tube, is held in shape by an endoskeleton, at one end are tentacles which the sea cucumber uses to forage in the sea floor mud and sand for plankton and decaying organic materi...Read More
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A Simple Grain of Sand

"To see a world in a grain of sand" wrote William Blake, I think he knew a thing or two. Sand certainly takes on menacing form when the wind launches its savage attack.Tiny splinters of quartz are whipped in to a frenzy, slashing everything in their path. The process that takes place here has a fan...Read More
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Cute and cuddly they may be, but sea otters are voracious predators of shellfish, sea urchins, crabs, octopuses and fish and any other smallish morsels they can find. They forage underwater usually for about one to two minutes, but can remain submerged for up to six. Prey is located by vision or t...Read More
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Mud Glorious Mud

Mangrove swamplands, or mangrove forests are tropical places where the sea meets the land, but in an ill-defined sort of way. No nice beach with high and low water marks, rather a muddy expanse of trees and shrubs.There are about twenty different families of plants that have somehow managed to inva...Read More
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Prickly Sharks

Until remote cameras were invented, no-one had ever seen the mysterious Prickly Shark in it's own deep-sea environment. This is a shark that lives way beyond human dive range, but recently scientists have discovered them in shallower water. Prickly Sharks live in the Pacific Ocean at depths between...Read More
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The beach is more than just a playground. For a special group of plants and animals it's home.Best known of these are the sand-hoppers. Related to crustaceans they are in fact amphipods. They hide during the day under seaweed and driftwood on the beach.As its common name suggests it leaps by first f...Read More
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