Why learn Marine Biology



Put simply, you get much more out of diving! The majority of divers wish they knew more about what they are looking at. If you know about marine life, you can find more interesting sea life, take better photos, learn to become more observant, expand your horizons. In fact, looking back, anyone would be missing out to keep diving without knowing what you are looking at. However, the main reason is that it is fascinating to learn about the thousands of survival skills that lifeforms have developed.

I teach the anatomy of Marine animals. You learn to have a X-ray view of each creature and how it is constructed. Your understanding is more like how a dolphin uses sonar to see inside animals. You know how each part of anatomy works and what it does.

I do not speak a lot of latin in real life. However, my course does use quite a few latin words . I try to use words that you know the meaning of. e.g. Most divers know that Nudi branch means 'naked gills'. Ophistobranch means 'gills behind the stomach'. Sea shells are Prosobranchs which means 'gills at the front of the stomach'. Many of these are Gastropods which means 'stomach on the foot'. Now you know the difference and how Molluscs are classified! The Latin is useful and should help your understanding.

The key idea is latin should be useful. A great example is the name of the humpback whale, Megaptera. It means 'big wing'. Humpbacks have the longest pectoral fins of local whales. To identify local whales, I look for the pectoral fin. The Southern Right whale has little fat short pectoral fins.

There is an enormous satisfaction from learning about the incredible voyages of marine creatures. Yellow Fin Tuna, for example, migrate from South Australia to Indonesia to breed. They can produce up to 5 million eggs. They take two years to return to South Australia, Some swim via the East coast and others via W.A.

The amazing feats of survival of the Loggerhead Turtle are legendary. They spend 16 years swimming from Queensland to South America via New Zealand and back before they settle down in a territory. (Discovered by Col Limpus after 45 years at Mon Repos Turtle research station) What they do on their incredible voyage and what they eat remain a mystery.

Each animal has the ability to kill prey and therfore survive. Survival is due to efficient killing and capturing food.

Each animal has to have the ability to avoid being eaten. It's a dog eat dog world down under the sea.

Each animal can avoid predators by having some unique and special adaptations that enable them to survive. Marine biology is about how they survive, how they kill and feed, how they breed and how they grow.

Below is the Box Crab, Calappa. It has a coconut shaped extended carapace over its body. The front claws are modified into a bulldozer for rapid burial under the sand. It has learned to avoid fouling its gills with sand when it does its speed digging trick.

The success of the Box Crab is due to these incredible adaptations and it lives, breeds and proliferates against enormous odds!



  Box Crab