Revealing Melbourne's best kept secret... a stunning marine environment that rivals tropical reefs in colour and diversity, showcased in a 208 page visual feast. From magical kelp forests, reefs that explode in a kaleidoscope of colours and dragons that sparkle like jewels. It is a surprising secret that few know. That's why we created this book. Engaging text helps readers to discover more about this fascinating world.
A marine environment like no other...Within these pages you'll discover the fascinating plants, animals and habitats that characterise this stunning underwater world. Plants that walk, animals that bloom. Creatures that breathe through their backs and those that light up like a starry night.
Armed to the teeth
There are over 300 species of fish in the bay... and that's just the ones we know about.
There are fish that hide, fish that fly and even fish that pretend they're not fish.
There are big ones - like the two metre long kingfish - that weigh around 60 kilos.
There are tiny ones - like the glass gobies - that's around a hundred times smaller and virtually invisible.
And there's just about everything between.
Hide 'n' seek
Caught out with a deadly lure
Heard about the one who got away?
Nothing escapes this angler.
It's a fish that fishes for other fish.
Silent and still it waits. Dangling a rod and worm-like bait that's fused to its face.
Fish fall for it every time, hook, line and sinker.
Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park
Melbourne is often called the world's most liveable city.
Little wonder that so many different life-forms prefer to call these waters simply... home.
Many of our extraordinary marine plants and animals found here on the southern shores are found nowhere else on earth, which is why we're more than a little protective about them.
Wings and Fins
Armed to the teeth
You'll never see a shark or a stingray at the dentist...
For one thing, these creatures never run out of teeth, as they have row after row of them to replace any that are worn, broken or just too old. Even the scales covering their bodies are a kind of teeth.
For another thing, they have teeth for every occasion: cutting, slashing, tearing, grinding and crushing... everything except smiling, which they never do.
And of course, dentists don't work underwater. And can you blame them?
Chameleons of the sea
This magician keeps its big trick - not in its hat - but in its head.
A special ink sac in its head produces an explosive smoke screen which confounds and confuses any potential predator.
And when the smoke clears, hey presto! The squid is gone.
Stars of the sea
For this type of stargazing masks, snorkels, rockpools and reefs replace the need for telescopes.
Stars here come in an incredible range of shapes, colours and sizes.
But for all their diversity they have two bizarre abilities in common: they can regenerate almost any part of their body that might get bitten off... and they can push their stomachs out through their mouths to literally 'eat out'.
There's two party tricks you don't see above water.