Once again, back in Lembeh. And not only me, when I arrived at NAD six other guests in several groups that I met the last couple of years here where also back. One would think that the black sand, so so visibility as well as muck divings risk for dives with not much to see should discourage divers from returning. Again, again and once more. And actually again. Well, that is obviously not the case. Reasons for returning obviously will differ between people, but from my point of view working as an ecologist, Lembeh is one of the places where one most easily can envision evolution at work.
The lack of obvious hiding places on the sand plains and the high productivity of the nutrient rich waters sets the scene for a high number of predators constantly trying to kill prey.
And as death is the ultimate failure in the evolutionary game, pressure is high on prey here in Lembeh to evade predators. Without doubt, in Lembeh one can find some of natures clearest examples of the use of venom, poison, warning colours, camouflage, residing in something that is dangerous to others or mimicking something inedible in order to evade a hungry predator. Often the strategy used for evading predators can also be of help in catching prey. As an example, many camouflaged predators such as scorpionfish and anglerfish are also prey for larger predators, and use their incredible similarity to other items for both purposes.
On this visit I am planning to try to portray such issues between predators and prey, using a fish eye lens. On the other hand, some quite unusual animals have been seen the last couple of weeks, so I guess I will have a go at those also with a macro. And then I am going to do some supermacro. And the uv-lighting equipment is also in the bag! Also, as always, I am pretty sure that there will be a couple of species I have never seen before, which will require some time. Obviously I´ll have to get back soon again, my two weeks will clearly not be enough to do all this.