Sunday, February 7, 2010

the mesoamerican barrier reef system

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System begins off the northeastern tip of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, continues southward into Belize, across into the Bay Islands of Honduras, and ends off the northeastern coast of Nicaragua. Extending over 700 miles, it's the largest reef system in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest barrier reef in the world.

A good friend was just diving in Cozumel, Mexico and sent me these amazing photos he took (click on images to enlarge them):
A transparent shrimp with brilliantly colored legs is the master of its anemone domain. If you've seen the movie Avatar, this photo will have an extra special meaning to you.

A juvenile grouper camouflages itself to match the coloration of a vase sponge.

An angelfish seems to guard a lair or egg nest that is covered in sponges of many different colors.

Photos: Matthew Shankweiler. Map courtesy of Google Earth.

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