Creature Feature: The Flamboyant Cuttlefish

Metasepia pfefferi, also known as The Flamboyant Cuttlefish, is a species of cuttlefish occurring in tropical Indo-Pacific waters off northern Australia, southern New Guinea, as well as numerous islands of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Flamboyant Cuttlefish can be seen at many of the dive sites in Puerto Galera, and is a big favourite with divers, due to it’s amazing colour changing camouflage.

The species is active during the day and has been observed hunting fish and crustaceans. It employs complex and varied camouflage to stalk its prey. The normal base color of this species is dark brown. Individuals that are disturbed or attacked quickly change colour to a pattern of black, dark brown, white, with yellow patches around the mantle, arms, and eyes. The arm tips often display bright red coloration to ward off would-be predators.

 

Congratulations Angelica on her OW

Well done to Angelica on completing her PADI Open Water Diver course, with instructor Rey! Welcome to the PADI club, we hope to see you diving with us in Puerto Galera again soon.

Batfish at The Alma Jane wreck

The Alma Jane is one of Puerto Galera’s most popular wreck dive sites, for divers with Advanced Open Water qualification or higher.

The Alma Jane is a 30m long, 10m high cargo freighter that was sunk to provide an artificial reef. A superb site for diving with nitrox, and also experiencing wreck penetration without being in a completely overhead environment.

The Alma Jane is home to large groups of batfish, lionfish and any number of fascinating creatures such as frogfish and scorpionfish, concealing themselves in the superstructure. Large groupers can also be found lurking around the bottom of the wreck, at it’s maximum depth of 30m.

The Amazing Mantis Shrimp

The mantis shrimp is one of the most interesting crustaceans found in the ocean, and you will often see them at many of the dive sites here in Puerto Galera.  Scientists study their strength, molecular structure and eyesight because it’s all so unusual — they are super-shrimp!

Read below for everything you need to know about these amazing creatures.

Strength

In the case of the mantis shrimp, being called a shrimp isn’t an insult — they are swift, tough and effective death machines of the sea!

Mantis shrimp are only about four inches long but pound for pound are one of the strongest animals in the world.  They use clubs that are more like elbows than fists to punch their prey — with the force of a bullet shot from a 22 caliber gun.  This incredible force is important for hunting food — easily breaking the shells of prey like crabs and clams.

When captured, scientists keep mantis shrimp in strong plastic tanks because their punch could break a glass tank.

The clubs of the shrimp are spring loaded — similar to a crossbow — when they release their club, it accelerates at over 50 miles per hour with a force of over 330 pounds — up to 2500 times the shrimp’s own weight.  If something the size of a person could hit that hard, they could break steel.

In order to punch that hard without breaking their clubs, mantis shrimp have a special shock absorbent core that has a molecular structure different than any other animal we know of — this structure is called a bouligand structure.  The bouligand structure keeps small cracks from becoming a full break.  This allows the shrimp to punch repeatedly without ever breaking — they may have many micro-cracks but never a break.

Researchers are mimicing the bouligand structure of the mantis shrimp to design thin, light materials strong enough to stop explosives and build stronger frames for things like cars.

Speed

But they aren’t just strong, they’re fast too!  They have the fastest predatory strike in the ocean — swinging in less than 800 microseconds.  In the time it takes you to blink an eye, the mantis shrimp could theoretically punch 500 times.

If you could throw a baseball as fast as the mantis shrimp punches, you’d launch the ball into space!

Because the mantis shrimp is so fast, its punch results in something scientists call cavitation — a super heated bubble that results in a small flash of light.  Between the punch and the heat, the mantis shrimp’s prey doesn’t stand a chance!

Sight

The mantis shrimp uses it’s amazing sight to see prey — they have the broadest visual spectrum of any animal we know of.  Scientists are studying the mantis shrimp eyes in an attempt to build small cameras that can see cancer cells at very early stages.

Like a lobster, the mantis shrimp’s eyes are on stalks that the shrimp can move around — they can even move their eyes in different directions.  To imagine the stalks, think of having stubby arms with eyeballs on the ends — you could swing them left or right, forward or back to see things in all different directions.  Very cool!

Romance

Some mantis shrimp species mate for life — they meet the shrimp of their dreams and they share the same burrow, protect their eggs and help each other with hunting for their entire lives — up to 20 years.

mantis shrimp eggs

Finding Nemo

For many people diving for the first time on a tropical reef, the first fish they ask about is “Will we see Nemo?”

The answer is YES you definitely will! The warm waters of Puerto Galera are home to many Anemone fish(Amphiprion ocellaris) also known as Clownfish, and they are a common sight at many of the local dive sites.

The Wonderful Ladies at PADI Women’s Dive Day

A great photo of the lovely ladies who participated in our PADI Women’s Dive Day 2018 event!

Mark this date for 2019 and don’t miss out girls!

Have you tried a “Boodle Fight”?

“Boodle fight” is a part of the Filipino culture. Join us and let’s have a special party!

Oriental Sweetlips

The Oriental Sweetlips and many other big fish are common sights around the tropical reefs of Puerto Galera!

Pygmy Seahorses

The Pygmy Seahorse is another of the incredible critters that can be found in Puerto Galera.

As well as being extremely small, they are also very well camouflaged, but our eagle-eyed dive guides know just where to find them!

Video: PADI Women’s Dive Day 2018

This year’s PADI Women’s Dive Day Event, at our sister resort Scandi Divers, was a great success, with an even better turn out than last year.

Thanks to all the ladies who participated!

If you missed this year’s event, be sure to sign up in 2019!