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Crinoids on the Coral Reef at Ilot Mato
Ilot Mato in New Caledonia's Great Southern Lagoon, has an inner lagoon festooned with corals and a treasure trove of marine life diversity. When snorkeling on the shallow reefs on the east side of the inner lagoon we found this lovely reef with lots of colorful crinoids. Crinoids are a very ancient kind of Echinoderm. They extend their feathery arms to trap tiny planktonic creatures. Captured plankton are transferred down to the mouth located in the center of the disk-shaped body. A nest of articulated legs hang onto the coral to support the creature. They can walk on the legs and even swim by pulsing the arms.
Copyright: Richard Chesher
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 15114x7557
Taken: 31/01/2016
Uploaded: 06/02/2022


Tags: crinoids; echinoderms; ilotmato; snorkeling; lagoon; corals; diving; worldheritagesite; newcaledonia; reef; scenic
More About New Caledonia

New Caledonia is the closest South Pacific Island to Australia and New Zealand. It is a French Territory and although the official language is French the culture is a blend of Melanesian, European, Polynesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian, and more. There is one large mountainous island called Grande Terre and 6 smaller islands - the three Loyalty Islands, Belep and the Isle of Pines.The islands are remarkably unpopulated and there are vast areas of wilderness. There are hundreds of kilometers of walking treks, camp grounds, more than 42 parks and reserves, and crystal clear rivers with sparkling waterfalls. Almost one third of the population is located in the capital city of Noumea. Nickel mining is the primary industry and is the major contributor to the high standard of living in the country. Grande Terre is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world and the protected lagoon created by this barrier reef is the largest in the world. Listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008, the lagoon is 24,000 square kilometers and supports a diverse and luxuriant fauna of fish and invertebrates.The vibrant, clear and rich colors are one of the first things that visitors notice when they arrive. Noumea has a complete range of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and activities to welcome visitors.

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