November 2012

Galápagos: Where the Big Things Are

Unlike Max in the children’s book by Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are, I hadn’t worn my wolf suit, or made mischief of one kind or another. I hadn’t been sent to my room before it transformed into an island of magical monsters only reachable after a year of sailing.

I wouldn’t want to spend that long on a boat, so I behaved(ish) and looked forward to being on Galápagos and spending my nights tucked up on dry land.

Thailand's Koh Tao

If anyone was to mention diving in Thailand to you, then you would most likely think of one of the west coast destinations. Hardly a thought would be given to the small island of Koh Tao, which lies off the east coast in the Gulf of Thailand. I live and dive here, so I find this lack of attention a little unfair.

Leopard seal blowing bubbles at diver (File photo)

Leopard seals filter feed like whales

Leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) are unusual among apex predators in that they feed at both the top and near the bottom of marine food webs; they capture and consume marine amniotes (seals and penguins) as well as krill.

By switching between two feeding styles, the leopard seal can dine from both the top and bottom of the Southern Ocean’s food web.