Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How Does nature Decide What Is Good For Survival.

There are somethings in life and in nature that are so easy to see how and why things evolved as they did. Frogs need webbed feet for swimming and bats need sonar to fly at night. This is east to understand.  Other creatures can change shape and colour like the octopus to hide from danger while some just grow so large that they are too big to be prey like the Manta Ray that cruise the similan islands and draw divers from all over the globe each year.

Now please take a look at other stunning things that we have here in Phuket Thailand and I will love people to message me and see if they can explain any of these. The only reason I can come up with is if the creatures make themselves look beautiful it will attract divers who will keep the other big predators away.

First up we have the cute yellow spotted box fish. How can being small, bright yellow and cube shaped be a great survival design??  These are common in the similans and all over Thailand and SE Asia.  Small brightly coloured, very un streamlined with pouting lips. These fish are so easy to see that anyone who has been scuba diving Thailand will have seen them as they are so cute they draw people in.

Then we have the Ghost pipe fish. Small, fragile, always stays within a few inches of the sea fan, plant or other underwater feature it calls home. Again these are common to most dive sites when diving phuket.  How can small, fragile and a weak swimmer be a great survival trait. But at least these are a better at blending in to their background.

Now the Ribbon Eel is a great find when scuba diving phuket.  They can be found in many sandy locations. They are either black,  yellow or blue or a mix of two of these colours. These amazing fish change colour as they get older and they change sex too. But still a bright yellow and bright blue with frills is hardly a goos colour scheme to stay hidden. The best islands in Thailand to find these stunning fish are places like the similan islands, or racha Noi to the south of Phuket and of course the Surin islands and the world famous Richelieu Rock.

Frog fish to me are a bit of a conundrum. They are awesome predators themselves when larger. However when small they have great colour schemes and come in so many designs they again are a great draw for people diving in Thailand. Yes they are aggressive and have spines to keep others away. But they are brightly coloured and they walk. Yes they walk on the sea floor rather than swim. They can swim when needed but not fast or for long distances. Even the spines and toxins in them will only be a defence after a few millenia of evolution when other fish learn not to eat them.  But for the first thousand years or so or when they are still small again an easy target.

Now the parrot fish. This comes in many amazing colours. and can be seen everywhere when diving in Thailand. Big and very bright colours.  When on a similan liveaboard they can be seen in great numbers. The other down side to them is they are a very tasty fish to eat too. No spines, stings, toxins or any defence except they can swim.

Last but not least in the crazy design awards. The Pygmy sea horse. My only thought here is if we stay as small as possible then may be nobody will see us.  They stay on their small bit of sea fan / coral for their whole life and being so small cant really travel too far. They do match in colour the coral that they live on and are very small but are very easy prey for anyone who wants them. My only guess is they are too small to bother with. These tiny creatures are seen when in phuket diving but are missed by most due to their size.

I know there are hundreds if not thousands of other mysteries of evolution out there but these are just a few of the ones that we see here in Thailand phuket especially on a regular basis. Then now with the similan island season about to start for another year it just seemed like a good idea to get people to look and think about what it is they are looking at. Similan island diving is some of the best in the world and Phuket dive shop like Thailand Divers like to give far more than just to book a trip for people but we like to explain and get people thinking about the beautiful things they are seeing underwater too. If anyone has any ideas on these amazing creatures evolution and survival tactics then please share them as to see how varied nature can be to help different fish that all live in the same conditions and have the same predators all evolved so differently from each other. Why such bright colours and poor swimming ability seemed a good idea. It beats me.