The Underwater Underground

Many reef residents prefer a shady crevice where they can observe without being noticed.

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Sometimes you have to share a crevice, and a whole community of cave dwellers may develop in a choice hole.

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Octopods suffer a constant struggle between shyness and curiosity. They love to watch us when they think we don’t notice.

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At first they put a bit of sand color on their “alcove red” and spy from every opening.

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With a little room and a 20 minute acquaintance the shyness abates and the octopus crawls up to the mezzanine level to meet a fellow sentient.

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Other troglodytes make their cover wherever the sand accumulates…

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and stay hidden until it’s time to come out and fight (or flee).

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When security and house cleaning become too much for one sand dweller there is always the option to get a roommate. This goby/shrimp arrangement works well. The shrimp goby watches for trouble while the goby shrimp shovels armfuls of sand out of the pad.

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We’re not sure who does the digging when everybody seems to be loafin’ on the front porch.

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Trigger fish just need a thin crack where they can squeeze in and extend their trigger spines for maximum wedging action.

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They make nervous circles at the front door until the intruder has gone.

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The smallest residents fit in the smallest holes.

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Sometimes just a comforting overhang is adequate.

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This huge babyfaced porcupinefish had a great dark cave with a clean sandy floor all to itself. 

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10°20.60′N 169°58.00′E 26-June-11 22:30 UTC

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