Diving French Polynesia: Moorea

2001 Ken Riddick
Besides the many sharks, we also found many other "dangerous" creatures, including this beautifully camoflaged stonefish or scorpionfish. This one was among the coral of the Little Rose Garden reef. It was shot with a close-up lens. It appears here a bit larger than life-size. The poisonous rays of the dorsal fin can cause quite a sting if an unwary diver were to accidentally put his hand down on this well-hidden fish. Marine Life of the Pacific and Indian Oceans describes it this way: "The poison is produced by skin cells that cover grooves running the length of each spine. The protein-based venom is unstable at high temperatures and is broken down, therefore it is important to administer the hot water-soaking treatment to sting victims. The scorpionfish is a master of disguise. Lying motionless while waiting for fish prey, it is nearly indistiguishable from its surroundings."

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Pictures from other trips:
Roatan | Little Cayman Island | Galapagos | Grand Turk
French Polynesia | Bonaire | Belize | Saba | Exuma Cays

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