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Citrus Ridge dive near Gam Island, Raja Ampat

I can see why the Citrus Ridge dive site is often referred to as an aquarium; the dive site got its name due to the many orange, yellow, pink, green, and purple soft corals that carpet the area and much of the ridge parts of the reef

I can see why the Citrus Ridge dive site is often referred to as an aquarium; the dive site got its name due to the many orange, yellow, pink, green, and purple soft corals that carpet the area and much of the ridge parts of the reef

Octopus; among the most fascinating creatures to discover on any dive!; normally they are so well-camouflaged that they are very difficult to spot

Octopus; among the most fascinating creatures to discover on any dive!; normally they are so well-camouflaged that they are very difficult to spot

Map puffer; these solitary animals use an extremely toxic sodium channel blocker to protect them from predators; unlike most fish, this species doesn't have scales

Map puffer; these solitary animals use an extremely toxic sodium channel blocker to protect them from predators; unlike most fish, this species doesn't have scales

We did 21 dives over 8 days but there are literally hundreds of known dive sites and more are being discovered every year in Raja Ampat; I would wonder if anyone had ever dived a particular spot as we passed in the boat

We did 21 dives over 8 days but there are literally hundreds of known dive sites and more are being discovered every year in Raja Ampat; I would wonder if anyone had ever dived a particular spot as we passed in the boat

Unique sea pen; I had never seen one of these plankton-eating animals before; their primary predators are nudibranchs and sea stars

Unique sea pen; I had never seen one of these plankton-eating animals before; their primary predators are nudibranchs and sea stars

The high marine diversity in Raja Ampat is strongly influenced by its position between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, as coral and fish larvae are more easily shared between the two oceans

The high marine diversity in Raja Ampat is strongly influenced by its position between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, as coral and fish larvae are more easily shared between the two oceans

Guineafowl puffer; when this fish is scared or frightened, they inflate and make themselves larger; this species is occasionally harvested for the aquarium trade but they can get quite large (2  ft)

Guineafowl puffer; when this fish is scared or frightened, they inflate and make themselves larger; this species is occasionally harvested for the aquarium trade but they can get quite large (2+ ft)

Granulated sea star; it is a carnivore and has its mouth on the underside of its body, like other sea stars; its prey include carrion and small invertebrates such as coral polyps

Granulated sea star; it is a carnivore and has its mouth on the underside of its body, like other sea stars; its prey include carrion and small invertebrates such as coral polyps

Pinnate spadefish; as a juvenile it is blackish brown, or black with an orange stripe outlining its entire body; this fish grows to a maximum size of 18 inches

Pinnate spadefish; as a juvenile it is blackish brown, or black with an orange stripe outlining its entire body; this fish grows to a maximum size of 18 inches

School of barracuda; these ferocious predators feed on an array of prey including fish such as jacks, grunts, groupers, snappers, small tunas, mullets, herrings and anchovies by simply biting them in half

School of barracuda; these ferocious predators feed on an array of prey including fish such as jacks, grunts, groupers, snappers, small tunas, mullets, herrings and anchovies by simply biting them in half

Dog-faced puffer; this species feeds on corals (usually Acropora tips), crustaceans, mollusks, sponges, tunicates and algae; instead of teeth, it has a fused beak-like structure which it uses to crush prey

Dog-faced puffer; this species feeds on corals (usually Acropora tips), crustaceans, mollusks, sponges, tunicates and algae; instead of teeth, it has a fused beak-like structure which it uses to crush prey

Blacktip reef shark; I never see sharks eat anything; maybe it happens so fast that I don't notice but I also don't see fish species fleeing to get away from the reef sharks

Blacktip reef shark; I never see sharks eat anything; maybe it happens so fast that I don't notice but I also don't see fish species fleeing to get away from the reef sharks

The six-banded angelfish is often seen in pairs, as it mates with one partner and they stay together for life; these fish are omnivores, eating worms, mollusks, and tunicates, sponges, corals and algae, and they are also known to eat other fishes' eggs

The six-banded angelfish is often seen in pairs, as it mates with one partner and they stay together for life; these fish are omnivores, eating worms, mollusks, and tunicates, sponges, corals and algae, and they are also known to eat other fishes' eggs

Camera-shy turtle; notice around the turtle the incredible variety of coral and plant life; with easy inspection, smaller creatures could be found throughout the healthy ecosystem

Camera-shy turtle; notice around the turtle the incredible variety of coral and plant life; with easy inspection, smaller creatures could be found throughout the healthy ecosystem

Posted by VagabondCowboy 03:47

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