Weird creature of the month – August

pistol shrimp diving thailand koh lanta phi phi islands,

Gobies is by far the largest family of fish with approximately 1,500 known species over the whole world. Just like its near relative the blenny, the goby usually lives in burrows and holes and are territorial, were most species are around 10cm in size.

The goby is a relatively social animal that lives with its partner for a longer period. The male goby attracts the female by making noises, and it is proven that these sounds are crucial for the choice of partner. The sound is made by the male gathering an amount of water in the mouth and quickly spurting it out with a massive force.

Another very interesting feature many of the gobies have around our dive sites is their partnership with shrimps. They live in a symbiotic relationship and depend on each other for survival. The shrimp is very skilful in digging, finding food and making a burrow. However, since it is blind, it makes the shrimp a very easy snack for predators.

The goby on the other hand, has very good eyesight but lacks the skill of digging, hence also making it an easy target. To survive they work together with the shrimp where the fish sit outside the excavation site as a lookout.

If you look carefully at the shrimp you can see the tentacles in close contact with the goby. If a predator would close in the shrimp can wiggle the tail, alarming the shrimp. The shrimp will then move to the side so the fish can swim in and hide.

If you avoid exaggerated movement and breathe carefully, you can see the shrimp and the goby on the sea floor all over Phi Phi Islands and Koh Haa.

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New wreck to be sunk outside Phi Phi Ley – 19th of March

The last ship to be sunk in the Krabi region to create an artifical reef is due on the 19th of March. This Norweigan built vessel AKS 861, by PUSNES MEKANSIKE VERKSTED, was commissioned in the thai Navy on the 9th of April 1956. The dual diesel engine ship is 47 meters long and 7,7 meters wide. The wreck is to be placed on the east side of Phi Phi Ley making it a great dive site all year around, creating an artifical reef for coral and fish.

There are very little documentation of this ship, but we believe from the shipspotting.com website, that a Norweigan visitor has caught the correct vessel on photo shown above.

Below is the schedule and an invite for anyone wishing to watch the sinking, with the local ferry company in Ao Nang

8:00                   Depart Klong Heang Pier aboard Aonang Princess
10:30 ~ 11:00     Opening Ceremony
11:00 ~ 11:30     Commence scuttling of HSWW Gret Geaow
11:30 ~ 12:30     Ship requiem and salut
13:00                 Leave for home
14:00                 Return to Klong Heang Peir

We will keep you updated on the latest news for this event, and of course, when the new wreck is safe for diving!

Weird creature of the month – November

beaded sea anemone diving thailandThe flower of the sea

It got its name from a beautiful flower but the anemone is anything but a plant. Despite its innocent look this beautiful animal is lethal for some of the smaller creatures of the sea like fish and plankton. This meat-eating invertebrate is a diverse organism and can live for as long as 80 years and more. They do not age, quite fascinating I know. This means that they can live on forever, but at some point they will fall prey to predators.

Did you know that there exists more than 1000 different species of the anemone? The anemone mostly thrive on tropical reefs, although there are species adapted to relatively cold waters. You can find the anemone in oceans from the tropics to the poles and they can grow up to nearly 2 m.cold water sea anemone diving thailand

With their beautiful and various colors and reaching tentacles the anemone really are nice to rest your eyes on. They might look harmless but they can be quite vicious. Anemones has several stinging polyps. The lightest touch will activate their venom filled tentacles, making firing harpoon like filaments penetrate the prey. The venom will paralyze the fish which let the anemone navigate the prey down their mouth located in the middle of their bodies.

I help you if you help me. This flower like animal has a few unusual tricks up its sleeve. They have symbiotic relationships with some other animals. One example is the clown fish that lives within the arms of the anemone. The clown fish is covered in a mucus layer that protects them from the anemone stings and let them live within their tentacles. Returning the favor the anemone fish keeps the anemone clean and they also let it have a snack on their remaining. This clever animal can also hitch a ride with other animals of the sea, such as crabs to change their hunting area.

Have you ever seen an anemone in movement? The anemones are capable of slow movement. They just simply swim with their tentacles or moving by flexing their body. And if you ever see an anemone taking a slowly stroll over the sea bed, it’s simply nothing weird by that. But it’s not anything you going to see every day, this lazy creature only move if they really have to.

How do they reproduce? The anemone can use both sexual and asexual reproduction. The asexual one means that they simply divide themselves in two where, each part forming a new animal, and they are now clones of each other. Fascinating little creatures as they are, other species are hermaphrodites producing both eggs and sperm.

At the beautiful Anemone reef close to Shark point you can lay eyes on an underwater landscape covered in anemones.  Join us on a trip to this dive site, and learn more about these fascinating animals.

Weird creature of the month – October

Harlequin Shrimp

HARLEQUIN SHRIMP

The Harlequin Shrimp was first scientifically described in 1852. The Harlequin Shrimp has a white body with large light blue spots. The males are slightly smaller than the female.

These are small shrimps, typically 2-5cm in length. It has large claws which are for show only; it does not use them for hunting.

These beautiful shrimps have a very specific diet: starfish. Upon finding their prey, they will overturn it to dine on the starfish’s delicate tube feet. Occasionally they take whole starfish many times larger than themselves. Even the huge Crown-of-Thorns, which has almost no natural enemies, is not safe around these guys. Some adults also feed on sea urchins.

Harlequin shrimps detect their prey using scent. The male and female shrimp overturn the starfish together to disable it. Working as a team, one shrimp methodically snips suction-tube feet from each arm of its prey. Meanwhile, its partner grabs an arm-tip and backs up like a tractor, gradually pulling the sea star over onto its back. This allows them to feed on its delicate tube feet starting at the tips and working inwards. Sometimes they will take the starfish into a dark recess where they can continue to feed for several days. Some even feed the starfish prey, keeping it alive so that they can dine on it later.

Their extraordinary coloration may serve as a warning to possible predators. It is thought that the shrimps incorporate toxins from their prey, making them bad tasting or potentially dangerous to eat.

As shrimp and other crustaceans grow, their exoskeleton does not grow with them and they must form a new exoskeleton to match their new size. During the period between molts they also repair themselves. If an antenna, leg or claw is lost new ones will grow and become evident after molting. It may take more than one molting period to fully repair any damaged or lost limbs.

Harlequin shrimps are fairly rare. When they encounter a mate, they stay together for life forming monogamous, often territorial, pairs. They mate shortly after the female’s molt. The female produces between 100 and 5,000 eggs per season which she tends and cleans until they hatch. The last one seen was around the Phi Phi islands at the dive site “Southern Tip”.

Weird creature of the month – September

clark anemone fish

Clark’s Anemonefish

Also known as Clark’s Clown, Clarki Clown, Fish Clown, Chocolate Clownfish and Chocolate Anemonefish.
Is a small-sized fish which grows up to 15 cm. It is stocky, laterally compressed, and oval to rounded.
Found in pairs or family groups in most reef habitats from lagoons to outer reef slopes with an anemone.

It is colorful, with vivid black, white, and yellow stripes, though the exact pattern shows considerable geographical variation. Usually it is black dorsally and orange-yellow ventrally, the black areas becoming wider with age.
They feed on zooplankton and algae.

Anemonefish are specialised damselfish and live a symbiotic relationship with various anemones. Some anemonefish will only be found with one type of anemone, but others can live with many types. They are rarely found very far away from an anemone.

The fish is diurnal. It is a protrandous hermaphrodite, the male often changing sex to become a female. A male may keep a harem. It is dependent on sea anemones to provide a habitat and nesting sites. The fish has a mucous coat to protect it from anemone stings. It is a mutualistic relationship. The clownfishs help to attract prey items close to the anemone’s tentacles, and helps to defend it from tentacle-eating predators, such as butterflyfishes.

I personally recommend, when you see a Clark’s Anemonefish, check the anemone, often you will find other life forms such as; small crabs and shrimp.

clarks anemonefish

 

Clarks anemone fish weird creature

Awesome Snorkeling at Bida Islands – The best of Phi Phi!

Snorkeling Koh Bida Lion fish Diving Thailand

The most southern sites of the legendary Phi Phi Islands are the Bida Islands. Many rank these as great as the Similan Islands.

During our two snorkeling stops our Professional Kon-Tiki snorkeling guides will teach you about the marine life you will encounter, the snorkeling equipment and how to use it as well as safety procedures.

Depending on currents, wind and weather we choose between Koh Bida Nok, Koh Bida Nai or even Hin Bida.

Once in the water they will glide with you over the coral reef, skin diving down to spot critters hiding in the corals, showing you their favorite fish. The reef is covered with all teh tropocal butterfly fishes feeding and also the beautiful damsel fishes. We find “Nemo” the clown anemone fish. A bit deeper you can spot the occasional lionfish searching for food by the protected reef. Often people also find leopard sharks sleeping in the sands and in rare cases great barracudas passing into the blue.

If you or your partner is already a certifed PADI diver or would like to try Scuba Diving, this is a amazing day for both of you!

padi snorkeling course bida phi phi islandspadi snorkeling course bida phi phi islands

Never tried Snorkeling or just can’t get enough of Snorkeling?

Snorkeling Bamboo Islands, Phi Phi Islands

If this is your first time snorkeling or just a keen snorkeler, this tour offers the best Snorkeling! Our professional Kon-Tiki snorkeling guides will brief you about the marine life, corals and how to use all the Snorkeling equipment. They guide you along the reef, so you can always be close to our snorkeling guide. We snorkel at one of Thailand’s biggest coral reefs which are located by Bamboo Island! Big corals, clear water and rich marine life we have the perfect environment for great snorkeling. The size of the reef is 4 football pitches and the water depth varies from 2 to 10 meters. Here you can glide over one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the Andaman Sea combining marine life and all the colors of the rainbow. You get to explore Hin Klai or Ao Ling, where you can find a great diversity of soft corals and marine life. The dramatic rock formations create shelter for many different species of reef fish. At Koh Yung is our last stop, which offers a splendid variety of different types of corals and colorful reef fish. Check it out

A perfect trip for anyone who loves snorkeling!

PADI Snorkeling guide Krabi ThailandBest snorkeling in Krabi, Thailand