Molluscs & other Photos
By Floor Anthoni
All A5 quality, unless indicated otherwise.

The world's molluscs (soft-bodied lower animals) comprise a very large number of species. Although they all relate to a common soft-bodied ancestor, their forms have radiated out to the most unlikely body shapes. We could not have guessed that an octopus is related to the common garden snail. Visit our special article on the octopus and other inkfish, and also that on camouflage, the art of the invisible.
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Keywords: NZ, New Zealand, mollusc, snail, shell, octopus, squid, broad squid, paua, haliotis, abalone,

f005211: Cominella scavenging whelks have come together for a spawning orgy. Mysteriously, they know which stone is this year's favourite, and they arrive from distances up to 100m away. Concentrations of more than 200 snails have been seen. (Hauraki Gulf)
f022605: a mature female sand octopus (O. gibsii) has dug herself a safe shelter underneath a rock. Against the ceiling, and visible in this photo, she has laid her eggs into strings that hang down. Her strong arms protect her offspring. She has stopped feeding and will die shortly after the eggs have hatched. Notice the small size of the slender roughies in front.
f039514: closeup of the eye of a reef octopus. Black eyes are usually a sign that an octopus is afraid. With the camera's eye so close, he has plenty of reason to be.
f035330: a young reef octopus (Pinnoctopus cordiformis) hunting by night in pitch darkness, something the reef octopus usually doesn't do.
f014620: a paua sandblasted by gravel (Haliotis iris).
f014618: note how paua are able to scrape the hardy pink paint off the rock, perhaps using its calcium for building its shell.
f014616: in a small, exposed, shallow cave these pauas escaped detection because they were hard to find. Exposed to swirling water saturated with gravel, the softer parts of their shells had been ground off, leaving their polished nacre exposed. It was as if happening on Alladin's cave with treasures. However, all have in the meantime been taken by vandals not appreciating the uniqueness of this situation. [A6]
f016314: by late night, yellowfoot paua (Haliotis australis) scramble up the tangled seaweeds to graze at the top of the canopy. There they can 'jump' from plant to plant, at the moment the waves make them overlap. Here a yellowfoot paua is seen doing acrobatics in the trapezes of tangled featherweed. After six hours of roaming, covering remarkable distances, they sure-footedly find their way home again. How do they do it?
f016313: a yellowfoot paua (Haliotis australis) just starting its evening hike. These molluscs are the fastest snails around, capable of pacing at a speed of 1 foot per 2-3 seconds, when threatened.
f027220: by a seven-armed star, this yellowfoot paua was chased out of its narrow crevice where it sleeps by day. It immediately ran away at high speed, but settled down when it realised it was no longer being followed.
f007237: a group of young broad squid by daylight. These animals are active day and night, and very successful at catching prey. They are often hard to see because they change colour, very effectively camouflaging themselves as the situation arises.
closeup of a young broad squid
f049333: closeup of a young broad squid (10cm), the most inquisitive one of a group of some 100  young squid of various ages.
a young broad squid by night
f041707: a young broad squid by night. With their large light-sensitive eyes, they can hunt by moonlight.
an armada of marauding young broad squid
f049329: an armada of marauding young broad squid. As they patrol the rocky shore, no moving organism is safe. They also hunt down small fish like triplefins.

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