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What People Say

The program is designed for any person with an interest in coral reef biology. All the information was presented in a clear step by step manner making it thus easy to understand - nice pictures as well! You really prepare the "entry-level" diver or snorkeler for what he will be observing as he passes through the different zones of the reef. I had alot of fun!

Jose, High school student, snorkeler, 18 years, Montreal

Coral Reef Creatures PDF Print E-mail

Over 300 creature behaviors!

Our collection of Creature Discovery Kits is an essential tool to divers, snorkelers and underwater photographers. In providing detailed, yet easy to understand information about the species and their fascinating behaviors that can be observed in the water, our Creature Discovery Kits transform diving and snorkeling into an underwater treasure hunt for memories and pictures.

The information provided is hands-on and allows for exciting educational experiences that will change the way you have been diving and snorkeling – literally. We invite you to listen to testimonies from people that have taken part in our Coral Reef Adventures (see  also videos accessible on the homepage of this website):

“On my second coral reef adventure dive, one of the spots to look for on the map was this giant sea anemone – and there it was! You know I had never seen one that large. And when we got back to the boat, one of the other divers that didn’t have the map had gone around the other side of the reef and completely missed the anemone.” Amy Luna, Advanced Diver

Each Creature Discovery Kit consists of a letter-sized insert with a three-hole punch to fit into the collector's binder and a wallet-sized plastic reference card for in-water usage:

1    Atlantic Trumpetfish - Aulostomus maculatus (Species ID: A.AM)
2    Banded Butterflyfish - Chaetodon striatus (Species ID: C.CS)
3    Barred Hamlet - Hypoplectrus puella (Species ID: S.HP)
4    Blue Chromis - Chromis cyanea (Species ID: P.CC)
5 Blue Tang - Acanthurus coeruleus (Species ID: A.AC)
6 Bluehead Wrasse - Thalassoma bifasciatum (Species ID: L.TB)
7    Caribbean Reef Octopus - Octopus briareus (Species ID: O.OB)
8    Caribbean Sharpnose Puffer - Canthigaster rostrata (Species ID: T.CR)
9 P.PA - Caribbean Spiny Lobster - Panulirus argus (Species ID: P.PA)
10  Fairy Basslet - (Species ID: )
11 O.CG - Flamingo Tongue (Species ID: )
12  French Angelfish - (Species ID: )
13 S.CC - Graysby Species ID:
14 C.CM - Green Turtle Species ID:
15  Longsnout Seahorse - (Species ID: )
16 E.DA - Long-Spined Urchin (Species ID: )
17 S.ESb - Nassau Grouper (Species ID: )
18  Nurse Shark - (Species ID: )
19  Porcupine Fish - (Species ID: )
20 Queen Conch - Strombus gigas (Species ID: S.SGb)
21 Queen Parrotfish - Scarus vetula (Species ID: S.SV)
22 B.BV - Queen Triggerfish - (Species ID: )
23  Redlip Blennie - (Species ID: )
24  Scalloped Hammerhead - (Species ID: )
D.DAb - Southern Stingray - (Species ID: )
26  Spotted Eagle ray - (Species ID: )
27  Spotted Moray - (Species ID: )
28  Threespot Damselfish - (Species ID: )
29  Yellow Tube Sponge - (Species ID: )
30  Yellowline Arrow Crab - (Species ID: )

($3.80/kit; minimum order: 5 kits, shipping not included)

Example content - front (click on pictures to enlarge):

bluetang_front_100_whoWHO? This section provides general information about the creature. You will learn what family of organism this creature belongs to and what its scientific name is. A species ID code helps you in tagging your photos and videos when uploading your favorite shots to the Internet. A picture and illustration are provided, along with a detailed description for easy identification during your dive or snorkel. You will learn this species life span and its status as an endangered species. Finally, the ‘Species and people’ section explains how this species relates to us, whether or not it is caught for consumption or for aquarium trade for example.

bluetang_front_100_whereWhere? A precise understanding of where your creature likes to live on the reef is crucial to finding it for observation and taking pictures. This section not only provides you with the geographical range of the species, but it also tells you in which of the six typical Coral Reef Zones it can be found and what its favorite habitat and depth range are. For example, does it prefer shallow areas with coral rock and rubble? Or does it prefer sandy areas in which to rest and hunt? Finally, “A Day In The Life” tells you where your creature of interest can be found at specific times of the day: at dawn, during the day, at dusk and at night.

bluetang_front_100_whoeatswhoWho Eats Who? Ever wondered what a nurse shark eats?* This section provides you with in-depth knowledge about your creature’s diet. The Blue Tang depicted here consumes algae. This makes it a herbivore as most advanced divers and snorkelers know. But do you know who, in turn, consumes the Blue Tang? The ‘Who Eats Who’ section of a Creature Discovery Kit allows you to learn a great deal about the feeding relationships that exist between coral reef organisms. This knowledge allows you to understand and observe attack and defense behaviors that creatures have developed to defend themselves. *The main diet of a nurse shark is hard-shelled prey such as lobsters and crabs.

bluetang_front_100_bestpracticesScuba Diver & Snorkeler Best Practices. This section shows you how you can help protect the sea and its creatures when engaging in recreational diving and snorkeling activities. Each Creature Discovery Kit contains useful tips and practices that reduce the footprint left on the environment when exploring a coral reef. Especially snorkelers may find this section interesting as snorkelers are usually less exposed to good practices related to exploring coral reefs compared to scuba divers.

bluetang_front_100_highlightsHighlights. On the back of each Creature Discovery Kit, you will find sections dedicated to fascinating feeding, reproductive and defense & attack behaviors that can be observed in the water. The Highlights section takes one of the most interesting (or one of the most difficult to observe) behaviors and explains it in-depth with the help of a beautiful illustration and description.


Example content - back (click on pictures to enlarge):

bluetang_back_100_approachApproach. Divers and snorkelers wanting to approach a creature for close-up observation or to take pictures need to know how to move as to not scare the creature away. Knowing how to approach a species may also protect you from an attack should the creature feel threatened. This section helps you in being prepared for your encounter with the species so that you may get the most out of your in-water experience and don’t miss a great chance for observation and taking pictures.

bluetang_back_100_feedingFeeding behavior. Feeding behaviors are among the most fascinating to discover and observe in-water. Our feeding behavior tool gives you information at-a-glance to ensure you don’t miss any of the action. Is the creature a herbivore, a carnivore, an omnivore or does it belong to the select group of top predators? Does it adopt a passive or an active feeding technique? Is it feeding at night or at day? The ‘Observe, record & share’ section contains a selection of specific feeding behaviors that can be observed in-water. An observation key helps you to know in advance if the observation of a specific behavior will be easy, not so easy or tough. Behavior ID codes help you in tagging your photos and videos when uploading your favorite shots to the Internet and sharing them with other coral reef enthusiasts around the world.

bluetang_back_100_attackAttack & Defence Behaviour. Coral reef creatures have developed amazing physical adaptations and techniques to overcome the defense mechanisms of their prey and to protect themselves against potential attackers. Toxicity, warning colors, camouflage, territorial behavior and intimidating sounds are just a few of the defense mechanisms employed by coral reef creatures. The section ‘Observe, record & share’ contains a selection of specific Attack & Defense behaviors that can be observed on the reef while behavior ID codes help you tag your photos and videos when uploading your favorite shots to the Internet.

bluetang_back_100_reproductiveReproductive Behaviour. Reproduction is difficult to recognize and observe in-water. Not that coral reef organisms are shy, but their reproductive behavior is often mistaken for something else or simply takes place at times when divers and snorkelers are not in the water. This section ensures you have the knowledge to know when reproductive behavior is happening. Color changes, courtship behaviors, broadcast spawning and even change of sex can be easily recognized with the help of our reproductive behavior tool and the detailed descriptions that go along with it.

bluetang_back_100_didyouknowDid you know? This section provides facts that are sure to amaze. Did you know that lobsters undertake seasonal mass migrations in single-file formations often consisting of more than 50 individuals? Or did you know that the skin of seahorses contains certain sugars that encourage the growth of algae on their bodies for better camouflage? For our Did You Know boxes we have selected facts that are mostly unknown to scuba divers or snorkelers. Learning more about them will provide you with answers to quite a few of the astounding miracles hidden in the realm of the coral reef.

bluetang_back_100_whattodoWhat to do? Each Creature Discovery Booklet contains an information box explaining the use of Beautiful Oceans species ID codes and species behavior ID codes. Beautiful Oceans has developed these codes as a system to assist photographers and videographers in tagging media. Using a Beautiful Oceans tag allows other coral reef enthusiasts to find your pictures and videos with great ease. All they need to do is to enter the code into a search engine to find all the videos and pictures pertaining to a specific coral reef species and its behaviors. We invite you to enter the following tag into Google VIDEO to see how it works: A.AM-201 (you may need to enter the code like this to only get “exact expression” results: “A.AM-201”) – or click here to see results in Google Video directly. Beautiful Oceans species ID codes and behavior codes are free to use and make it easy to share your pictures and videos with other coral reef enthusiasts around the world.

bluetang_back_100_observationkeyObservation Key. Each species behavior is preceded by a color code. This code indicates if it is likely to be easy, not so easy or tough to observe that behavior and capture it on camera. If you come across a behavior in the yellow or red category and have been able to catch it with your camera, consider yourself lucky. Hurry to post your footage to the web – and don’t forget to add the species ID and behavior codes!