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Koh Tao - Parrot and Christmas tree

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

♫ Ce matin je sors de chez moi Il m'attendait, il était là Il sautillait sur les coraux Mon Dieu qu'il était drôle dans l'eau Le p'tit poisson de toutes les couleurs Le p'tit poisson de toutes les couleurs

♫ This morning I go outside

He was waiting for me, he was there

He was hopping on the corals

My God he was funny in the corral

The little fish of all colors

The little fish of all colors

It's a song that my grandmother, not that my mother, okay I admit everything... it's a song that I liked when I was a child. Phew... suddenly I'm getting a little old.

On each of my snorkeling trips, I have the pleasure of encountering parrotfishes.

I see them in all colors, green, blue, gray, multicolored. The livery of these funny birds varies enormously during their life depending on their sex which changes over time, their age and even their importance. The dominant males being the most colorful to be able to interest these ladies.

Their diet is also... bizarre. They have a powerful beak capable of leaving deep marks in the coral. It's impressive when you're underwater and you hear them crunching in the coral. The teeth, located at the back of their throat, grind the coral and release the algae. The limestone is then rejected at the "other end" in a cloud of sand, this beautiful white sand found on the beaches....

So I have to conclude that I sunbathe on fish poo when I lay on Caribbean and Thai beaches...

There are also beautiful little multicolored Christmas trees that populate the corals. Spirobranchus giganteus, more commonly known as the Christmas tree worm, feeds on plankton and can live up to 40 years. Impressive for an animal that seems so fragile.

I like having fun with them. Passing my hand over them, they disappear instantly, to reappear slowly after a few moments.

Finally, there are these pretty lips that I had difficulty identifying because I could only see the tip of the iceberg, the shell being often completely embedded in the coral.

These are giant clams. In Europe, gigantic shells of these molluscs were used as Holy water font from the Renaissance.

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