SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 281 - December 2023
Welcome to SCUBA News - our Complements of the Season to you.
The water's always warm, the sea life is amazing and in Coron there are some marvellous wreck dives.
Planning a diving holiday next year? Make sure your insurance covers diving to the correct depth.
Imagine this: a channel so narrow and shallow that a single tide can unleash an astonishing 200 billion gallons of water, creating a tumultuous display of standing waves, whirlpools, and currents surging at 16 knots (18 mph or 30 kph).
We bring you news of some fantastic dive boat deals in 2024, specially selected for us by Divebooker.com, the liveaboard specialists. Including 7, 10 and 14` night trips.
A seasonal "Creature of the Month" today - the beautiful Christmas Tree Worm.
Christmas Tree worms are long-lived, although pollution and climate change can reduce their lifespan.
Each worm has two crowns or Christmas Trees. The worms come in a myriad of colours, but a worm's two crowns are always the same colour.
As well as being important for respiration, the feathery trees also waft food down to the mouth.
Different species of Christmas Tree Worms are very selective where they live. The larger ones often choosing a specific species of coral. Smaller species might also choose artificial substrates as their home.
The worms are important for the health of coral reefs and help protect corals from invasive sea stars whilst also preventing the coral being overgrown with algae.
On sensing danger, the worm quickly retracts its crown into its tube in the coral and closes the entrance with a trapdoor called an operculum. It will stay down there for about a minute, before re-emerging very slowly to check that the danger has gone.
There are both male and female Christmas tree worms.
They're easy to find and very photogenic, making them great subjects for macro photography. As long as you have the patience to wait and not disturb them into shooting back into their tubes. You might see them down to depths of 30 m.
Although often identified as Spirobranchus giganteus, there are several different species. S. giganteus lives in the Caribbean. In the Indo-Pacific S. corniculatus and other species take over.
Eijiroh Nishi, Moritaka Nishihira. Age-estimation of the Christmas Tree Worm Spirobranchus giganteus (Pomlychaeta, Serpulidae) Living Buried in the Coral Skeleton from the Coral-growth Band of the Host Coral. https://doi.org/10.2331/fishsci.62.400
Ocean around Bermuda warmer and more acidic than ever, 40 years of observation show
Divers map 2-mile trail of relics and treasure from legendary shipwreck
Birds are unlikely helpers for tropical coral reefs facing climate change threat
To build a better world, stop chasing economic growth
Dolphins have a feel for electric fields
England's only bottlenose dolphins at risk
Underwater sculptures created in the Caribbean
Deep-sea mining threatens jellyfish, suggests first-of-its-kind study
Diving for All: A New Wave in Resort Accessibility
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Photo credits: Daniel Lamborn/DepositPhotos, Nirupam Nigam, Tim Nicholson, Jill Studholme
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