Researchers Dione Decker (left) and Professor Maria Byrne, with an adult crown-of-thorns starfish at the Great Barrier Reef.
Researchers Dione Decker (left) and Professor Maria Byrne, with an adult crown-of-thorns starfish at the Great Barrier Reef.

Crown-of-thorns starfish lie in wait for corals to recover

It is common knowledge that the crown-of-thorns starfish is the bane of coral reef communities. What is lesser known is that this species does not feed on only corals. Rather, in its juvenile stage, it feeds on algae. Then, as it matures into an adult, it will switch to a diet of corals.

Based on new research reported in the Biology Letters journal, the starfish has the ability to adjust the timing of its dietary change based on the availability of coral in the vicinity.

SONG OF SILENCE – A Book About Water

Reviewed by Michael Lawrence

Generally speaking, underwater photography falls into several well-defined categories. Wide-angle reef scenics with or without divers, over-under images, fish portraits, macro and super macro. With his new book, Song of Silence, Rico Besserdich shatters that construct. While skilled in all of the standard approaches to underwater imaging, Rico has chosen to focus on the essential, elemental spirit of water and its boundless faces.