After almost three weeks I finally gathered the photos and names of small, big, beautiful, special and interesting creatures we encountered on our 16 day-long trip to Thailand. Not only did we enjoy it but I also got to wake up the biologist in me. Under the nerdy rubric you can find the animals we saw. As always there were some that held my interests and senses occupied for longer than the others and I wish to mention them here as well. Here are my top 3 encounters with animals in Thailand. The no. 1 encounter that I will never forget was the one with the porcupine puffer fish. We were snorkeling on the beach near Ko Maa island on Koh Tao. The first 10 meters or so we had to swim through very high algae and to say the least, it was not very comfortable. As I tried to follow Seb’s fast swimming I lost air and decided to take a short break and study what lies beneath me.
It was worth it – I got the close-up with a puffer fish! What I discovered were two big googly eyes looking at me. First I froze but as I realized what a great opportunity I was handed, I continued following it for meters before it was gone. I am ashamed to admit but the conclusion is: The fellow stayed deflated, thus I got more frightened of it than it of me… 😀
On no. 2 was the sling-jaw wrasse. Sling-jaw wrasse is more than just a cute little yellow fish, just as the name already suggests.
Sadly, the name I got to learn only after we came back. This is why it totally took me by surprise as its jaws got unattached and formed a long white snout with which it sucked small crabs off the surface.
Here I copied two great photos that explain how exactly it does it.
No. 3 was not even a tiny bit less exciting than the first two fish I described. Many of you probably think by now that I will be writing about some awesome cobra or an Asian elephant, sadly I will have to disappoint you. My nerdy no. 3 is a spider. The one we only saw for a moment but left a great impression on me. The spider is called golden orb-weaver spider. The name does not describe the morphology of the spider itself but of its web. Its asymmetrical webs glisten golden in the sun. Absolutely breathtaking. Not to mention that they are pretty big and very colorful. Despite their warning colors their bite is not deadly for humans. I hope you know how to appreciate its beauty!
With the thought on the amazing world out there I leave you, now it is time to discover my subconscious worlds.
P.S. This is where I found those lovely pics of slingjaw wrasse and porcupine puffer fish: