Good Reading : June 2007
JUNE 2007 ı goodreading 47 coffee table Oceanic Wilderness by Roger Steene is published by Crawford House and distributed by Bookwise International, rrp $89.95. All photographs and captions reproduced from Oceanic Wilderness with the permission of the publisher. Echinoderms are one of the most vari- able groups of marine organisms. Their tremendous diversity in external appear- ances belies a common internal structure based on radial symmetry. This lovely sea urchin, Diadema species (30 cm), was photographed in 10 m off Bali, Indonesia. The ophiuroids employ a number of different strategies to combat predation. Some brittle stars coil tightly around sea fan branches or corals during the day and unfurl their arms at night to snag drifting particles. Others hide under rubble or in reef crevices and come out to feed after dark. This brittle star, Ophiuroidea (6 cm), was in 15 m off the Philippines. The honeycomb cowfish Lactophrys polygonia (15 cm), photographed in 15 m in the Caribbean, has a body covered with bony armour. Not only are horn-bearing cowfishes armour plated, but they also exude a toxic slime. These two features protect them from predators. The gill structure of most tropical nudi- branchs seldom stands totally above the body. One exception is the recently named lavender slug, Hypselodoris apolegma (12 cm), whose massive gills canbeasthickasapenciland8cm across. This specimen was shot in 10 m off the Philippines.