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Marine Life & Conservation

Why Nudibranch Are My Favourite Underwater Creature

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Often called a ‘sea-slug’, these beautiful and colourful creatures are my absolute favourite thing in the world.  What is a nudibranch you ask? Well, a nudibranch is a marine snail that has evolved over the millennia and has lost the shell on its back. There are over 3000 known species and more are being discovered every day.

Nudibranch (“Noody-brank”) literally means “naked gills”. They are quite fussy eaters and sometimes a species will only eat one type of food, and it is their choice of sustenance that gives them their distinctive colouration.   Their diet includes corals, sponges, hydroids, fish eggs and even other Nudibranchs!  The bright colours are used as a camouflage and to warn off predators as they are toxic to most fish but not to humans.  Yes… they are perfect for us divers! Cyprus is bursting with them in the early season, but as the water warms here they start to become a little harder to find, but that’s ok – I like a challenge! If you love these little critters as much as I do then you better book a dive soon so you don’t miss the photographic opportunities that these disco-slugs offer.

They aren’t the fastest moving creatures, so they don’t stray far from home.  They move slowly using their muscular, snail-like foot and have evolved into hermaphrodites to maximise their breeding potential.  Their eggs are usually bright red, and are found in spirals – you have probably seen some on a dive, but haven’t known what they were. Look out for them.  I will always do a very excited underwater dance when I spot them, and I will point them out to every monkey who takes the plunge with us using the universal diving sign for nudibranch . Do you know what the sign is? I bet the readers who do are making this sign right now – aren’t you?

Their eye sight is not the best either; they use their little tentacles to smell and see the world. They also can use the sun to get nutrients from the algae they eat – they store the chloroplasts and use photosynthesis to transform the nutrients into energy. In my opinion this makes them one of the most “green” creatures on the planet! Depending on the species they can live between just a few weeks to up to a year so enjoy them as much as you can. Keep your eyes peeled and share them if you spot them. Who knows – you may even see one that hasn’t been identified before! HAPPY HUNTING!!

Are you a Nudibranch Lover? Tell us about your Nudibranch encounters in the comments section below!

Alexandra Dimitriou is a dive center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner at Scuba Monkey Ltd.

Marine Life & Conservation

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Paul Rose

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Next in a new series of podcasts shared by our friends Gemma and Ian aka The BiG Scuba Podcast…

Ian and Gemma chat to Paul Rose. A man at the front line of exploration and one of the world’s most experienced divers, field science and polar experts, Paul Rose helps scientists unlock and communicate global mysteries in the most remote and challenging regions of the planet.

He is an experienced television presenter and radio broadcaster. With a proven track record in business engagements, Paul is a sought-after speaker, chairman, host and moderator for industry, government and NGO events.

Former Vice President of the Royal Geographical Society(link is external) and Chair of the Expeditions and Fieldwork Division, Paul is currently Expedition Leader for the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions.

He was the Base Commander of Rothera Research Station, Antarctica, for the British Antarctic Survey for 10 years and was awarded HM The Queen’s Polar Medal. For his work with NASA and the Mars Lander project on Mt Erebus, Antarctica, he received the US Polar Medal.

Paul is a mountain and polar guide leading Greenland Icecap crossing and mountaineering expeditions and polar science support logistics. He worked for four years as a Mountain Safety consultant to the oil industry in the Middle East.

On his 2012 Greenland expedition, Paul led the first expedition to successfully traverse a new 275km icecap route of Knud Rasmussen Land and repeated his first ascent of the north face of Gunnsbjørnfjeld, the highest mountain in the Arctic.

His professional diving work includes science support diving in Antarctica as the British Antarctic Survey’s Institute Diving Officer. He ran the US Navy diver training programme at Great Lakes Naval Training Centre and trained many emergency response dive teams including the Police, Fire Department and Underwater Recovery Teams. He remains a current and active PADI Dive Instructor.

Find out more about Paul Rose at www.paulrose.org


Find more podcast episodes and information at www.thebigscuba.com and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… TV Presenter Andy Torbet – Part 2: Andy talks about Marine Conservation (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive two-part Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-large, chats to Andy Torbet. In part two, Andy and Jeff talk about Marine Conservation.

Missed Part one? Watch it HERE.

Andy is an Underwater Explorer, Cave Diver, Freediver, Skydiver, Climber and Outdoorsman. He is also a TV Presenter on award-winning series for BBC, CBBC, Discovery, History Channel and Fully Charged Show’s Youtube Channel. Andy is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and The Explorers Club, and is also a Stunt Performer for TV and Films.

Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.


For more information, visit www.andytorbet.com

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This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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