The sea is always exciting. Associations and friendships can also raise many questions. We had such a situation today too. While we looked at the Cory’s shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea) resting on the surface, a Portuguese- man- of -war (Physalia physalis) sailed calmly past us. Some may think that this is a jellyfish. But it is a beautiful, highly dangerous community of different, interdependent polyps. At one point in evolution they got together and shared out the tasks (food intake, defense, reproduction and travel center). In the meantime the individuals can no longer be separated. However, this art form of color, form and expediency does not always sail the seas alone. A brave fish seeks the closeness of this life form, which belongs to the genus of physalia. Why does this little fish accompany such a poisonous creature? A dangerous love affair? No, this interesting Man-of-war-fish (Nomeus gronovii) seeks protection for its dangerous companion. He seems to be quite immune to the nettle poison. Nevertheless, caution is highly advisable, because a careless Man-of-war-fish can be eaten by his accompaniment. So a friendship that is not without any danger. Looking at today’s photos it could actually be a Man-of-war-fish, but I still don’t find it clearly.
Finding the marine mammals today was like a long, difficult Easter egg hunt. We had to drive as far as Funchal to find a small group of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). However, this school avoided contact with us. Fortunately, Carlos, our scout, spotted another group of the same species. These animals were more interactive. So it became a longer tour, but our guests enjoyed the sea experience.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
14.00 Bottlenose dolphins, Portuguese- man- of -war, Man- of -war fish, Cory’s Shearwater