Crabes sous couverture

Most decorator crabs belong to one of eight families in the superfamily Majoidea, commonly referred to as spider crabs. About 75 percent of the group’s more than 1,100 global species mask their presence by wearing disguises made from living organisms scissored from the landscape. They commonly hijack seaweeds, sponges, tunicates, bryozoans and hydroids. The crabs manipulate the purloined pieces of attire with their mouths before attaching them to one of the many fishhook-shaped bristles arranged in rows on the carapace, rostrum, walking legs and claw arms, depending on the species.

Un décorateur d'hydroïdes

Symbiose sur le sable

Interactions between different species, whether above or below water, typically revolve around confrontations between predators and prey. At the opposite and more harmonious end of the spectrum, a scattering of unrelated species coevolved to form lifelong alliances for their mutual security. These relatively rare go-along-to-get-along partnerships provide a net benefit for both parties, improving each species’ reproductive success. The close living arrangement between weak-eyed alpheid snapping shrimp and sharp-eyed partner gobies is a classic example of symbiosis in the sea.

Un couple accouplé de crevettes à nez jaune

It’s All in the Name

In 1995, when we first explored wunderpus territory, which overlies much of the Coral Triangle, the then-undescribed octopus’ fame had spread far and wide. The newly sensational creatures attained much of their acclaim for dancing like dandies across sandy seafloors on eight unimaginably limber arms — an eye-popping feat of acrobatic dexterity well worth traveling halfway around the world to see.


La pieuvre argonaute et la méduse

I DON’T EXPECT TO SEE ANIMALS much larger than my thumbnail while I’m drifting on a night dive in the ocean. So I’m surprised when a translucent skirt of tentacles […]

Observation des blennies 101

OF ALL THE FISHES IN THE SEA THAT ANNA ADORES, blennies perch high atop her favorites list. Her fascination with the tribe of typically small, hole-inhabiting bottom-dwellers …

hole-inhabiting Blenny's

Le poisson d'or de Cuba

IT HAD BEEN A BUSY WEEK for the fish surveyors aboard the Avalon ll, and things were just beginning to wind down. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) team of 16 volunteer research divers had recorded population estimates for 246 fish species on 26 reef, seagrass, mangrove, and ironshore sites within the benevolent boundaries of […]

fée d'or basslets

La vie singulière du poisson perle

TO FIND THE FIRST DESCRIPTION OF A LARVAL PEARLFISH in the wild, I had to search back to the early 1980s annals of blackwater diving and Christopher Newbert’s account of drifting 40 feet down a lighted downline tethered to a dinghy bobbing on a night sea somewhere off the Kona, Hawaiʻi, coast. The story appeared […]

Des mers frayées pour toujours

Pour le plus grand bonheur des plongeurs qui séjournent au Tawali Resort, sur les rives de Milne Bay, en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, l'intuition d'Anna s'est révélée juste.

Les pépinières de coraux staghorn créent des habitats pour les poissons, même sous forme de branches suspendues.

Il suffit d'un bon poisson

NOTRE RÉCENTE AVENTURE SOUS L'EAU a commencé par une quête fantaisiste d'un petit poisson discret, pas plus grand qu'une pièce de cinq cents. À bien des égards, notre mini-mission à la recherche de l'hippocampe nain (Hippocampus zosterae), rarement observé, ressemblait davantage à un week-end de jeunes insouciants qu'à un groupe de sept hommes et femmes enfilant des combinaisons de plongée le long du rivage en dur des hauts-fonds rarement explorés de la baie de Floride à Key Largo, en Floride. 

Hippocampe nain mâle en gestation

Le dilemme d'Hamlet

DEPUIS LA FIN DU XIXe siècle, les taxonomistes marins débattent du statut d'espèce des petits bars majestueux des Caraïbes du genre Hypoplectrus, communément appelés hameçons. Au cœur de la controverse se trouve l'essence même de la taxonomie : Qu'est-ce qui définit une espèce ?

Hameau d'Indigo