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Andaman Islands

Andaman Islands never disappoint visitors. Do take time to visit inter-tidal areas of nearby shore. Exploring is learning and kids inquisitiveness has no boundaries. Without these creatures, all we will have will be empty and colourless oceans!!

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Sand Cleaners

Among several creatures are sand crabs performng job of cleaning sand of dead and decaying organic mater and thus keeping sandy shores clean and neat. Dotila sp, Uca sp, Fiddler crabs, Ghost crabs etc are excellent sand cleaners. For the next expedition on the sandy shore please watch these sand cleaners in action.

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Dotilla myctiroides

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Uca annulipes

Gulf of Kutch!!

 Gulf of Kutch

The Gulf of Kutch is a large water channel of the Arabian Sea. Its maximum width is 60 km at its mouth and its length is about 170 km. As far as mangroves are concerned, the southern bank of the Gulf is important. Besides mangroves, there is a complex ecosystem of coral reefs, salt marshes and coastal mudflats. Realizing the biological significance of this area, the Gujarat government declared an area of about 460 sq.km as a Marine Sanctuary in 1980 and another 162 sq.km as a Marine National Park in 1982.

The coral reefs of Pirotan, Paga and Poshitra, mudbanks of Kalubhar, sandbars on both northern and southern banks of the Gulf, sea grass beds of Poshitra, algal beds of Okha and Dwarka, islands such Lafa, Manmarodi, Dabdada, Kalubhar, Chusna, Bhaidar and Chhad, mangroves on the southern bank, rocky shores of Beyt Dwarka are some of the important areas for the students of marine biodiversity.

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Refer Field Guide to Marine Life of India by Deepak Apte for the identification 

Brain Corals

Brain coral is a common name given to corals in the family Mussidae, due to their generally spheroid shape and grooved surface which resembles a human brain. These are found in shallow warm-water coral reefs. The lifespan of the largest brain corals is appx 900 years. In India brain corals can be seen easily in Andaman, Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Mannar. (Image Copyright: Deepak Apte)

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Mud or Dog Whelks

Nassarius, commonly known as mud or dog whelks are medium-sized marine gastropod molluscs. Most Nassarius species are scavengers, feeding on crabs, dead fish, etc.

Several beads made from Nassarius gibbosulus shells are thought to be the earliest known forms of personal adornment, or even jewelry. Two shell beads found in Skhul Cave on the slopes of Mount Carmel, Israel are thought to be 100,000 years old, whilst another found at Oued Djebbana, Algeria is believed to be 90,000 years old. A further group of pierced shells, some with red ochre, has been recovered from the Aterian levels at Grotte des Pigeons, Taforalt, Morocco; these Nassarius gibbosulus beads have been securely dated to about 82,000 years ago (Bouzouggar et al, 2007; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassarius).

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References:

1. Bouzouggar, A., Barton, N., Vanhaeren, M., d'Errico, F., Collcutt, S., Higham, T., Hodge, E., Parfitt, S., Rhodes, E., Schwenninger, J.-L., Stringer, C., Turner, E., Ward, S., Moutmir, A. and Stambouli, A. 2007. "82,000-year-old shell beads from North Africa and implications for the origins of modern human behavior" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 4, 2007; http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0703877104v1

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassarius

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