ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Incredible Sea Monster Tour of Caye Caulker

Updated on July 8, 2010
Long snout seahorse, hippocampus reidi, this is a female.
Long snout seahorse, hippocampus reidi, this is a female.

The Mangrove Ecosystem

I discovered that there was a strange world behind the island of Caye Caulker,Belize, called the Mangrove Ecosystem. It's a super important part of the entire Belize Barrier Reef. It is the nursery for all the pretty little fishes and home to some creepy crawly weirdos. Our reef is the second longest barrier reef in the world running 180 miles, which is the length of our little country.

Anyways, I take people on kayaks around the island and educate them by showing them some of the characters that live amongst the mangrove roots and canopy. Folks are always amazed at the creatures that live here.

sea star and Cassiopeia
sea star and Cassiopeia
Grumpy Frank the Batfish
Grumpy Frank the Batfish

Above are photos of the Cushion Sea star cozied up to a Mangrove Upside Down Jellyfish also known as Cassiopeae Xamanchana, (named after the constellation that is a W or an M depending where you are). This jelly likes to lay around on its back and collect plankton as it passes by. They love to group up, just like Jellyfish Fields on Sponge Bob Squarepants. For sure if you don't look before jumping in the water, you'll get mildly stung.

Then there is Grumpy Frank, the Batfish. It looks like he forgot to step out of the water when evolving. He can walk on the sea bottom with his stylized pec fins, not that he walks alot, he usually just sits and waits for a meal to investigate his unihorn lure and then sucks them down!

Batfish are easily captured and are pretty ugly looking. My guess is they taste bad too.

Ugly and lazy too
Ugly and lazy too
Lovely little monster
Lovely little monster
Shrek's child, or spotted sea hare
Shrek's child, or spotted sea hare

Pillow Secrets and Tough Guys

Above is a photo of the Long Snout Seahorse. One of everybodies favorite creatures. These cute little monsters are not abundant but are still found in pockets around the caye. Seahorses are so cool, monagamous and resiliant. I lke the fact that the female hands the eggs over to the male. He puts them in a pouch under his belly and gestates to term. He can give birth up to 1500 babies! Unfortunately some cultures believe that to consume them brings virility and higher libido, thats BS. We've got Viagra now, leave these beautiful guys alone .

Then there is my personal favorite, the Spotted Sea Hare, I call this one Gary but it's a true hermaphrodite so I misnamed it. These slugs can grow up to 12 inches and weigh .5 lbs. They ink you if you are not gentle, but I can determine individuals by their spots, so this ones been on my tour before, we are good friends. Another amazing thing about Gary is he can mate in a chain of 3 to 5 slugs, like an orgy. everyone is doing it , doing it, doing it!

Below is two photos of the bullies of the mangroves, Megalops Atlanticus, AKA Tarpon, these guys are still juveniles and will stay around consuming tons of sprat. We stop to watch them hunt like wolves but they are more interested in us. Some tourists are brave or stupid enough to actually hand feed these guys. Yeah, they get gummed to death.LOL they have a hard plate instead of teeth. They don't chew ,just swallow! These are catch and release sport fish protected by law.

They look like fish eh? These are 40 pound teenagers
They look like fish eh? These are 40 pound teenagers
These are Tarpon, can grow to 300 pounds!
These are Tarpon, can grow to 300 pounds!

Well I hoped you enjooyed the tour highlights! There is alot more of course! Algeas and seagrasses and fish snot, ew. Please leave your comments and let me know what you love. thanks.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Snapa profile imageAUTHOR

      Snapa 

      7 years ago from Belize

      Ivorwen!- The sea hare actually looks like (kind of) a naked rabbit hunched up and with funny rabbit/ shrek ears, I guess it's a close enough resemblence lol...

      Valerie- Anytime you find yourself in Belize please come to Caulker, you'll fall in love...I'm originally from Canada North so, I know what you mean all life is interesting for sure.

    • profile image

      Valerie 

      7 years ago

      You live my dream. I live in the Adirondacks. We have lots of interesting life here too, but the underwater and uncharted caves are the places I have drempt about since I was a child. I didn't know about the existance of the sea hare, that is definitly an interesting organism. I loved your commentary.

    • Snapa profile imageAUTHOR

      Snapa 

      8 years ago from Belize

      Thanks family, for the comments on my commentary. When you do something you love to do it is easy! I have to be able to talk scientifically when I take out biologists and break it down to little pieces when with children so all my guests can understand the biology in my back yard!

      Love!

    • profile image

      Bob & June 

      8 years ago

      Great shots daughter, and am really impressed with your commentary - how did you get so smart? Must take after me...lol. Wish I could go with you kayaking one more time. Love Dad and June mom.

    • profile image

      CatB 

      8 years ago

      Hi Allie :) Cathy from WA (june's daughter) Love the pics and commentary! Seashorses are my favorite too, but the batfish and sea hare definitely take the lead for unusual and interesting! Glad to hear things are going well, take care.

    • Snapa profile imageAUTHOR

      Snapa 

      8 years ago from Belize

      Yay!Elisa, look forward to seeing you again!

      Ivorwen I like your kids already!

    • profile image

      Elisa 

      8 years ago

      Hey Miss Allie, it is Elisa from Germany! Thanks for this great post. If it's okay with you i would like to feature you and your kayak tour in my blog! Also, i will be coming back to CC in late Sept with a friend of mine. If he's up for it, we're gonna go kayaking with you! :)

      Talk to you soon!

      Elisa

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 

      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thanks for the extra info on the sea hare. I just showed it to my three younger boys, and they all want one now. lol :D

    • Snapa profile imageAUTHOR

      Snapa 

      8 years ago from Belize

      Yeah, the seahorses are always the bomb! The spotted sea hare actually resembles a crouching rabbit, the body is roundish, then it's got those feelers that look like ears sort of. They have a smell too, that has nothing to do with bunnies, but it is like iodine. Thanks for reading Ivorwen, appreciate the comment.

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 

      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      I love the sea horse. It is beautiful. That slug is something else! Where does the name sea hare come from?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)