More Coral and Flatworms – Ho-hum

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A week ago I would have bet against a long delay until my next post. That was before I remembered that I would have a house guest for the week. To further delay me, PNG Power arranged a splendid display of incompetence by switching the power on and off over nearly the entire weekend. My dinky UPS was not up to the task. When It got to the point at which I could not safely shut down my computer before the UPS gave up with a shriek, I decided that I could use a break anyway.

Today I’ll show a few more coral and flatworm images from our dive on the wall at Blueblood.

I looked through my pitifully inadequate marine invertebrates reference book for this coral without success:Likewise, this specimen escaped the attention of my book:I’ve found the web virtually useless for identifying organisms. Give me a big, fat book anytime. Once I have narrowed down the possibilities by leafing through the pages and scanning the images quickly with my calibrated eyeballs, I can pretty quickly determine what it is, or at least that my book doesn’t have it.

Pretty much the same thing applies to flatworms, such as this little beauty:It’s easy to identify which of the items here is the flatworm. It’s flat. In fact, they are so flat that they remind me of the creatures inhabiting a bizarre two-dimensional world which sprang from the mind of the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott in his novel Flatland written in 1884. The work was  a not-so-subtle dig at certain aspects of Victorian society.

And here is a junior Flatlander:

This is an infant version of the previous one. This one was only about five millimeters long. You may note that the image looks a bit grainy. This is because of the digital noise from the sensor. I had very little light here, so I had to push the sensor up to ISO 400. On the Canon G11, this is the threshold at which noise becomes a problem. This was made worse because I had to take only a portion of the frame, since the critter was so small.

Here is another denizen of Flatland:

In this shot you can see the fault with the flash arrangement on the Canon G11 factory underwater housing. If you get too close with a macro shot and need to use the built-in flash you will find that the lens portion of the housing casts a shadow on the lower part of the image. You can see evidence of that here in the blue cast in the bottom portion.

I’ll finish with a couple of more unidentified coral images:

There’s a spiky one.

I don’t know how to describe this one:

A princess castle under the sea? Okay, I’m reaching now.

The headstone for Eunie’s grave should arrive from Australia this week. I’ll be contacting my friend Shane at Lae Builders to find out how quickly he can construct a cement monument suitable to hold the headtone. Taking care of Eunie’s resting place is something which I must see to before I leave for Australia and North America hopefully before the middle of March.

I wish that I could overcome the anxiety which I feel when I think of planning my trip. I know from experience that I will be okay once I get on the plane out of Madang. It’s always the same. However, the planning for this journey is going to be very tricky. I have some very important things to do. My future welfare will depend on the results of my efforts in ways which are new in my life.

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10 Responses to “More Coral and Flatworms – Ho-hum”

  1. Nancy McDonald Says:

    Uncle Arnie your pictures are beautiful! I know you will do fine planning your trip. Will we get to see you on you travels?
    Love to you

  2. MadDog Says:

    Nancy, I will be in Illinois sometime in April or May. I have not yet planned my trip in detail. I hope to see as much of the family as possible. I’m hoping that there will be some kind of get-together. I’m looking forward to it.

    Love, Jan

  3. kristy Says:

    Lovely pictures!! Enjoyed them! The corals are lovely!
    Hopefully the journey will go well in March!

  4. pvaldes Says:

    mmmh… I like this mysterious critter’s posts

    Your first coral belongs to the Order Alcyonacea. Soft corals are very difficult to classify to species level without a decent microscope but I thing yours could fit easily into genuses Capnella or Nepthhea (12 species at least, probably much more) . Sinularia (fam. Alcyoniidae) is also similar (at least sometimes), a third candidate but not my first choice…

  5. pvaldes Says:

    … but I thinK, yours could fit…


  6. pvaldes Says:

    welll…. NephThea …..

    The lilac coral could be a young Acropora easily

  7. pvaldes Says:

    I think your lavender flatguy is Pseudoceros bifurcus, the racing stripe flatworm

  8. pvaldes Says:

    and the other flatpeople could be Pseudocerus laingensis

    yes, sometimes, we have luck

  9. MadDog Says:

    Thenks, Kristy. I bought some of my tickets today.

  10. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Pvaldes, for your IDs. I’ve given up trying on corals. No time to dig for names.