Exuma Islands, Bahamas, 2008
The northern part of the Exuma Island chain in the Bahamas are part of the Exumas Land and Sea Park. While diving off of a weeklong dive charter, I was able to photograph these beautiful creatures swaying in the back and forth surge on a shallow reef. Although they look like a flower or plant these are actually animals, worms to be exact. They get their common name of Feather Duster worms because the radials look like the feather duster cleaning tool. These worms extend their radials into the ocean to capture food and then feed it back to their mouth in the center of the radials. The radials also act as the worms gills allowing it to breath. Feather Duster worms can be found around the world, and can be larger, single animals or clusters of smaller worms like these. Several bore into dead coral or rock and form small clusters that can be found around reefs. Because these clusters are commonly found on shallow reefs there is usually a surge created by waves that makes capturing a clear image challenging, but rewarding.
You need some time to take several images of these and they are swaying back and forth in the current and the shutter lag on your camera does not always allow you to capture the image you want. This required you to take several pictures to get one that is in focus and captures the image you want.
Feather Duster Cluster
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