Tag Archives: critters

Blue-ringed octopus at Atmosphere Resorts & Spa Philippines - photo by Don Tan

I’ve been Atmosphere Resorts & Spa’s marine conservation biologist for 14 months now and I dive regularly. In fact, it’s unusual to see me with dry hair. Coming from a coral reef and megafauna (the BIG stuff) background, many of our critters I’ve excitedly encountered for the first time. However, there is one particular little 8-armed guy that I have yet to set my eyes on – the elusive (I recon “mythical”) greater blue-ringed octopus. Octopus can pop up at many of our dive sites. However, we have one particular site which, at certain times of the year, is your best bet …

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A popcorn shrimp in its mushroom coral, photo by Daniel Gearyat Atmosphere Resort Philippines

Last month our marine biologist, Kirsty Richards, launched the new (and exclusive) PADI Critters Specialty course at Atmosphere. I’ve always loved collecting things, whether it is Polaroid photographs, Pokémon cards or PADI Specialties. When I discovered that at the end of this particular specialty, I’d be better able to find a spotted porcelain crab, or an ornate ghost pipefish – I was sold. Despite being in from the get-go, I had to patiently wait my turn as the course has been an instant hit at Atmosphere. Marine Biology 101 One balmy October evening, we communed for the first part of …

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Atmosphere launches the new PADI Critter Specialty course

We are incredibly excited to launch our new PADI Critters of Dauin specialty course! The incredible diversity of critters along Dauin’s coast has long been a well-kept secret. But not anymore. As the cat slowly gets teased out of the bag, we are launching the PADI Critters Specialty, unique to Atmosphere! Are you a diver who loves cryptic and colourful critters and would like to know more about what makes them tick? Do you think “how on earth did they find that?” when your dive guide points out a tiny hairy shrimp, then this specialty is for you. Kirsty created and …

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christmas critters of dauin

Christmas tree worm (Spirobranchus giganteus) Aptly named to be at the top of our list, Christmas tree worms are a type of tube-building polychaete worm. Their multicoloured (and tree-like) spiral tentacles can be seen poking out of holes they’ve board into corals and are used to catch passing prey which is then passed down into their mouths. Popular with photographers, these brightly coloured underwater Christmas trees will disappear in front of our eyes should they sense anyone getting too close. Humbug dacyllus (Dascyllus aruanus) Despite it’s name, I like to think the Humbug dacyllus is a happy little fish and …

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shaun the sheep nudibranch

Unless you are a scientist, you are probably familiar with common names when describing a type animal, like CLOWNFISH or TIGER. Sometimes, names are more specific, like Tomato Clownfish or Sumatran Tiger, describing only one species. Occasionally these common names overlap and two different species have the same name. How confusing! How can a scientist differentiate between them using only the common name? The answer is that every animal has a scientific name. Latin is the preferred language for scientific names and is the standard among all animals, so it doesn’t matter what language the scientists speak or where they …

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