Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Jan DiveTrip to Mindoro "cukes & tubes " Day 6.2`

Jan 20, 2011 Thursday Day 6.2

Half way down the cliff side I spotted a creepy three foot long giant caterpillar looking thing (what is it?). In the video I pick it up to see the underside, but before I did that I carefully and gently poked it with a gloved finger. I wanted to test it to see if there might be some kind of adverse reaction to my touch while ensuring I didn't harm it.

Its body is rubbery stiff, its outer surface covered with warty bumps and horns. I will assume its coloring and texture is mottled and warty to camouflage it from predators; it only makes sense. I also lifted it up at one end to capture on video what its undersurface looks like. I was kind of expecting to see suckers or something; instead its underside looks a bit like uncooked bread dough. I have no idea what this little monster is, but I hope to find out.

(I searched for another two hours on the net checking pictures of everything from sea slugs to nudibranchs to sea cucumbers, and I'm fairly certain it is a type of warty seacumber. There are a wide variety of these things in all the oceans and seas of the world, a creature in the same phylum as starfish. In other words they are like a one-armed starfish. I've seen these things several times over the years as both snorkeler (from high above) and now as a diver and it always gives me a creepy thrill to spot one.)

I took a couple videos of anemones doing their disappearing act. I watched them in slow motion, but even on the slowest setting still they pull their tendrils back so quickly as to immediately disappear from view. They are like a jack-in-the-box in reverse.

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