Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Tunicates at Bali

Although I have not posted any underwater pictures recently, I have been scuba diving about twice a year with my missus all these while. 
We dived Tulamben, Bali, in August 2008. 
Until I dug them out a few days ago, the pictures have been in cold storage since the trip.
And, hmm, I must say that the Canon G7 is quite capable of recording some decent pictures although I was disappointed with the Canon housing. 
That thing leaked and ooh, it was not a good feeling to see so many wonderful creatures coming into view but you are not able to record them.
I have always been fascinated with tunicates and the ones in Tulamben are probably the most pretty and vibrant ones I have ever seen.
I particularly like observing the vein-like patterns of the barrels.

Scientifically, they are defined as 'any of various primitive marine chordate animals of the subphylum Tunicata, having a rounded or cylindrical body that is enclosed in a tough outer covering. Tunicates start out life as free-swimming, tadpolelike animals with a notochord (a primitive backbone), but many, such as the sea squirts, lose the notochord and most of their nervous system as adults and become fixed to rocks or other objects. Tunicates often form colonies.' ( 

Apparently, they feed on zoo-plankton and minute animals, opening and closing the mouth somewhat like an underwater Venus fly trap, perhaps?

Size was about three to four centimeters, I think.