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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Underwater Marine Life in the Maldives – Exotic and Entrancing Sea Creatures
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Underwater Marine Life in the Maldives – Exotic and Entrancing Sea Creatures

The lovely Maldives offers an array of entrancing attractions for the visitor. Amongst these attractions is the islands' remarkable underwater marine life that is sure to captivate intrepid travellers exploring the ocean.

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The Reef Ecosystem

The Reef Ecosystem

The Maldives' reef ecosystem has evolved naturally over the course of millennia and forms the foundation on which this archipelago exists. The reefs which surround each of the numerous islands consist of the skeletons of limestone which are secreted by the living corals and left in place after they have died. New growths of coral develop on these dead corals; in this manner, the reefs are built up over thousands of years. Within the reef ecosystems of the Maldives, you will find a marvellous selection of marine creatures including many kinds of fish and reef animals that will capture the imagination of the diver.

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Corals

Coral growths consist of numerous small polyps that immobilize and feed on small creatures that venture near them. The algae that are found within the corals assists them in photosynthesis. Amongst the numerous kinds of corals that may be found in the Maldives are hard corals like brain corals, staghorn ferns, sheet corals and flat corals. You will also encounter soft corals such as wire and whip corals and fan corals, which are also known as gorgonians. These soft corals differ from hard corals by being composed of polyps that do not feature a hard skeleton of limestone. Soft corals are also solitary and do not develop in colonies as hard corals do.

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Reef Animals and Fish

Reef Animals and Fish

Amongst the reefs, you will find marine creatures like sponges, molluscs, sea squirts, starfishes, feather stars, coral shrimps and hermit crabs. As you might expect you will encounter a remarkable selection of exotic fish in the reef areas of the Maldives. Commonly seen varieties of fish include such creatures as lionfish, groupers, wrasse, anemone fish and scorpion fish. Other interesting kinds of fish frequently spotted in the Maldivian waters include the yellow butterfly fish, angelfish, parrotfish, Napoleon fish, squirrel fish, tuna, trevally, snapper, surgeonfish and many others. These enthralling kinds of fish are sure to strike the interest of the snorkeller or diver.

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Sharks, Whales and Dolphins

Sharks, Whales and Dolphins

Although juvenile sharks can be readily seen in the lagoon waters near the islands, the larger mature sharks are more elusive, frequenting the deeper seas. Kinds of sharks that you will have the opportunity to spot in the Maldives include the reef, whale, hammerhead, blue and tiger sharks. On the other hand, whale watching is also a popular pastime in the Maldives, with varieties like the sperm whale and blue whale frequently spotted. Meanwhile, if you like dolphins you will have the chance to observe spinner and bottle-nosed dolphins in the Maldives. A choice of accommodation to consider from where you will be able to go diving to spot sharks and other marine creatures would be Adaaran Prestige Vadoo; it is one of the conveniently located Maldives 5 star hotels that offer such excursions.

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Stingrays, Manta Rays and Turtles

Stingrays, Manta Rays and Turtles

Visitors to the Maldives will find stingrays resting on areas of sand on the bottom of the sea. On the other hand, the manta rays which are larger can be found swimming near the surface in areas of open water and in proximity to reefs. Another interesting kind of marine life in the Maldives is the threatened marine turtles. In the Maldives reefs, you will have the opportunity to encounter green, hawksbill, loggerhead and Olive Ridley turtles that are sure to appeal to the lover of marine creatures. These kinds of turtles also arrive to nest on the local beaches during the nesting season.