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Lionfish, Sea Urchins, Crown of Thorns – Reef Life of the Andaman – Part 17

Lionfish, Sea Urchins, Crown of Thorns – Reef Life of the Andaman – Part 17


In this video we take a look at marine life from Thailand and Burma that uses venomous spines as a form of defence.

Of the lionfish family, the red lionfish, Pterois volitans, is most common across the Andaman Sea, but it is possible that some or all of these are actually the similar Devil Firefish, Pterois miles. Both species are very similar and possess venomous spines along their fins. We meet specimens across various dive sites near Phuket, at Richelieu Rock, and at Black Rock in the Mergui Archipelago.

Other species that are included are the zebra lionfish, Dendrochirus zebra, the rare frillfin turkeyfish, Pterois mombasae, and the spotfin lionfish, Pteroid antennata.

We then look at the crown-of-thorns starfish, or crown-of-thorns sea star, Acanthaster planci, which also has stinging, venomous spines on its body that contain a neuro-toxin intended to cause paralysis. This starfish feeds on hard corals and human intervention has been required in some parts of the world where these starfish threatened to destroy enitre reef systems.

Finally we examine sea urchins, specifically the black longspine urchin, Diadema setosum, which is prevalent across the Andaman Sea. We see a large colony of them at Racha Yai Island, near Phuket in Thailand.

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