Sea Urchin Time Lapse

The spiky animals featured in this short video are sea urchins. Sea urchins are fascinating creatures. They belong to the same family as the starfish, sea cucumbers and the sand dollar. A family known as Echinoderms. Often an under appreciated family. Did you know that if a starfish loses an arm, it would re-grow it? Or that a sea cucumber can completely excrete it’s digestive system and then grow a new one? How cool is that? I wanted to explain how these animals move as they often do it so slowly you would not notice (hence the time-lapse video). Also, remembering they are invertebrates so they have no bones. So, how do they do this? Echinoderms have what is termed tube feet. Tube feet are tubular projection with suckers on the end. On the sea urchin they are found between the spines and on the starfish they are found under the arms. In order to control and move these feet the echinoderm will use their vascular system, which consists of water! That’s right water. By contracting chamber of water within the body they control which feet move and which ones don’t. The amazing features of this family do go on and on but as it’s all about them moving I will control myself and stop there.

Egypt 2016

As mentioned in my previous post I was recently in Egypt. Marsa Alam to be exact, so southern Egypt. Flights to Sharm el Sheikh are still on hold from England but you can still get there with a little detour or travel to a different part of Egypt.  There are so many reasons to visit Egypt and no-one should be put off. Yes, a plane blow up but the cause has not been determined yet and nasty activities are happening all over the globe so no one country should be persecuted. Security measure have been increased and I had to go through more security getting out of Egypt than getting in. Anyways I digress, I wanted to blog about the trip and the amazing animals I saw. When I travel I often travel to scuba dive or to experience cultures around the world.

Slo-mo of the Egyptian flag in the wind out to sea today 🙂 #travel #marsaalam #scuba #diving

A post shared by Ellie Richards (@tropicalshark) on

I love scuba diving in the Red Sea. Nothing quite compares to it! The water is warm, the amount of fish and coral is unbelievable and you also get quite a bit of megafauna. Marsa Alam jumped onto my dive list destination due to the dugongs. There are very few places in the world where you can dive with these and with the state of our oceans its becoming a now or never mentality. So at the NEC Dive show 2015 a deal was found that allowed 5 days diving in Marsa Alam with Emperor Divers. Emperor Divers were fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. We were accommodated in every respect and when I go back to Marsa Alam I will be using the same company.

The first dive got us our dugong. He is known to the guides as Dyson as they see him quite a bit and we spent as much time with Dyson as he would allow. I was also quite lucky that a video I took of Dyson was put up onto Emperor’s Facebook page (Dyson the Dugong)  The diving just got better from there. We saw an amazing amount of colourful fish, corals, stingrays and turtles. I even got to play chicken with a Hawksbill turtles which was amazing! The turtle got so close I could see all the detail in its shell and face, such beautiful creatures. I definitely have a soft spot for turtles! We also managed to get in Elphinstone Reef which is a pretty famous site. Known more so for it sharks, we however, only saw a big grey reef shark high tailing it away from us. January is not shark season so can’t complain especially not with all the other animals we were seeing.

Turtle_CR

Egypt is amazing and instead of me continuing with my waffle I have included some of the photos I managed to snap. Just to note I am not a professional photographer. If anyone is after a destination that has it all I recommend a dive trip to Egypt. The weather is great, the diving is amazing and the people are friendly!

Reef_CR

 

 

 

Racing Extinction

I watched this a while back and thought I posted across all my social media however, I feel I might have forgotten a few. If I didn’t it is worth a reminder.

Racing Extinction a document in regards to the destruction of the species on this planet. I follow the Racing Extinction page on Instagram and the documentary has been on Discovery. I unfortunately don’t have this! Someone posted the link and I watched and am now passing this along. It is a definite must see by everyone. We are destroying this planet and wiping species out, we need this to slow down! Also, it has one of my lectures from my undergraduate degree in it! Education and awareness is key.

It’s better to light 1 candle than to curse the darkness!