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Photo © dmcleish, all rights reserved
Maui, US-HI, US, OC
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Description

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

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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 about 3 years ago (Flag)
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And Don, these are smashing images!

Posted by vanhoutan about 3 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:
http://mauimaid.net/Squiggles-Mystery/
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 about 3 years ago (Flag)
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Hawksbill Turtle - Photo (c) divemecressi, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
salessi's ID: Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Posted by salessi 4 months ago (Flag)
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Hawksbill Turtle - Photo (c) divemecressi, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
carrieseltzer's ID: Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Posted by carrieseltzer about 21 hours ago (Flag)
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Hope you'll come back and add more observations!

Posted by carrieseltzer about 21 hours ago (Flag)
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Hawksbill Turtle - Photo (c) divemecressi, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
Community ID: Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
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salessi carrieseltzer 2 people agree
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Observation © Don Mcleish
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