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Photo © dmcleish, all rights reserved
West Maui, (Google, OSM)
20.8915682386, -156.6963956278


Young hawksbill turtle consuming unknown plant/animal matter. Need help identifying this mystery meal. Large colony of coral was laced with strings of transparent orbs and no evidence of more of this on adjacent colonies. The hawksbill appeared intent on consuming all available and next day there was none left to see. Depth was approximately 8-12'

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Comments & Identifications

533 thumb

To add to Don's comments, these translucent spheres.. we have no idea what they are! We've queried fish biologists, phycologists, and no one seems to know their ID. Initially our thought was some sort of vertebrate eggs, probably fish roe. But nothing has come up. Someone suggested to us they were a budding colony of red algae, but we thought they'd be more pigmented if that was the case. Any clues?!?

Posted by vanhoutan over 2 years ago (Flag)
533 thumb

And Don, these are smashing images!

Posted by vanhoutan over 2 years ago (Flag)
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thanks vanhoutan. For anyone interested or wishing for more images to evaluate, I have uploaded more high resolution, cropped as well as full frame, in the following directory:
As much as I looked through the various images it looks to me that the uniformity in size of these spheres is quite close.

Posted by dmcleish over 2 years ago (Flag)
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Identification Summary

dmcleish would like some help identifying this

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Data Quality Assessment

Community-supported ID? No
0 people agree
0 people disagree
Date? Yes
Georeferenced? Yes
Photos or sounds? Yes
Is the organism wild/naturalized? Unknown
What do you think?
Yes / No
Does the location seem accurate? Unknown
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Does the date seem accurate? Unknown
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Appropriate? Yes
Quality grade casual
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Observation © Don Mcleish
Cc by small some rights reserved

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