Anemonefish in Dauin, Philippines, at Atmopshere Resorts & Spa. Photo by Kirsty Richards

Among the shrimp, frogfish and octopus of Dauin’s coastline, you can find a plethora of anemonefish/clownfish (same, same). We don’t just have one, two, or three, but at least seven different species of this characterful and famous little fish! Found within the fleshy tentacles of 10 species of anemone, anemonefish spend their whole lives in the vicinity of their host. Their relationship is win-win (technical term = obligatory symbionts). In short, the fish are protected from predation by living within the stinging tentacles (a thick mucus protects the fish from being stung). At the same time, it provides cleaning and …

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Whale shark in Oslob Philippines with Atmosphere

In my role as Atmosphere’s Marine Biologist, a common question I get asked is “the whale sharks at Oslob, should we go even though they feed them?” My previous work involved researching shark diving, shark behaviour and, as one of my favourite things to do is dive with sharks, I feel I’m in a fair position to delve into a conversation about this potentially contentious subject with our guests. There are plenty of articles online about shark diving, and the feeding of whale sharks at Oslob in particular, many of them opinion pieces which may, or may not, utilise the …

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Marine Biologist Dauin Philippines

“Congratulations!! I am happy to let you know that we have chosen you for the position!!!” – The email I received from Julia (Atmosphere’s HR Manager) at 3:30am one July morning. Four long, dark winters in London and the prospect of a 5th approaching quickly was enough to easily tempt me back to the tropics. 7 weeks later I was walking back across the green lawns of Atmosphere as their new Marine Biologist, 18 months after leaving as a freshly-fledged SCUBA Instructor. Settling in I cannot put into words how awesomely welcoming the people of Atmosphere have been. Those faces I …

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Rhinopia in Dauin Dumaguete Philippines at Atmosphere Resorts

After a couple of weeks of rumors in the area, we can confirm with these awesome shots by Atmosphere’s marine biologist Daniel Geary that we do indeed have Rhinopia here in Dauin. Still a baby, this weedy rhinopia (Rhinopias frondosa) hopefully has many friends around. We also hope that he or she will find a nice colored sponge or coral to sit next to and take on a  bit of color – as they expertly do. Rhinopias are among the holy grails of macro diving – very rare species within the scorpion fish family. There are 6 different Rhinopias and this …

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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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