18 – 22 April 2010

Dimakya Island, Club Paradise

Many snorkelers and divers quickly swim past seagrass beds without stopping to check out the interesting marine life that live there.  Seagrass beds are very important marine habitats and ecosystems. With their root like stems, which can extend horizontally under the sand, seagrass beds serve as binders keeping the sandy sediments from washing off onto the reef. This ecosystem also helps to transport sand to beaches. They are an important habitat for many sand-dwelling marine organisms such as sea snails, sea cucumbers, eels, gobies and shrimps.

A sandy colored mantis shrimp eyeballs Yogi while in his hole on this sandy seagrass bottom

A sandy colored mantis shrimp eyeballs Yogi while in his hole on this sandy seagrass bottom

We found a dragonet while spending lots of time checking out what lives in this seemingly empty seagrass habitat

We found several fingered dragonet while spending lots of time checking out what lives in this seagrass habitat

A charming sight - a tiny decorator crab runs away with this upside-down jellyfish

A charming sight – a tiny decorator crab runs away with this 3x his size upside-down jellyfish attached to its back

A sea cucumber spurts out gooey stuff of sticky threads when disturbed

A sea cucumber spurts out gooey stuff of sticky threads when disturbed

We even found prehistoric horseshoe crabs here!

We even found prehistoric horseshoe crabs here!

And a seahorse! Our list of critters living in this seagrass bed goes on and on

And a graceful seahorse! Our list of critters living in this seagrass bed goes on and on . . .

Seagrass beds also act as nurseries for juvenile reef fishes including economically important groupers and snappers. Seagrass beds are also vital feeding grounds for dugongs and green sea turtles. Other than the seagrass itself, detritus or decomposing organic matter is also food for animals living here.

 

The presence of sea urchins and sea cucumbers in seagrass beds mean this habitat is healthy

The presence of sea urchins and sea cucumbers in seagrass beds mean this habitat is healthy

A big conch snail sucks out sand dollar sea urchins from inside the sand. So cool

A big conch snail sucks out sand dollar sea urchins from inside the sand. So cool

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