Natural History

  • Masters of Disguise June 1, 2008 These fish have perfected the game of aquatic hide-and-go-seek. Story By Suzanne Gerber ~ Photos By Barbara Shively We get the English word camouflage from the  French camoufler (to disguise), which likely derived from camouflet, meaning “a puff of smoke” or “smoke blown in someone’s face as a practical joke.” But to fish, who exist in an ... Read more about this post
  • Fans, Rods, Plumes and Whips April 1, 2008 Soft corals play an integral role in the coral ecosystem. Story by Suzanne Gerber ~ Photos by Barbara Shively You can’t dip below the water’s surface in any tropical paradise without noticing the amazing Technicolor world that exists there—“the inner planet,” as it’s been called. It truly is another world, teeming with more life and ... Read more about this post
  • Mother Sea Turtle April 1, 2008 A look at the importance of turtles to the Tainos as food and myth. By Bill Keegan and Betsy Carlson “On a voyage north from Panama to Hispaniola, according to the journal kept in 1503 by Ferdinand Columbus, ‘we were in sight of two very small and low islands, full of tortoises, as was all ... Read more about this post
  • Talking Taino: The Chip-Chip Gatherers January 1, 2008 Collecting and eating small shellfish serves as a metaphor for Taino life. By Bill Keegan and Betsy Carlson Chip-chip: a small shellfish found along the tideline of Trinidadian beaches. Gathering chip-chip is a weary task, bringing almost no reward. Shiva Naipaul, 1973 In 1973, Shiva Naipaul, the brother of renowned author Sir V. S. Naipaul ... Read more about this post
  • Bedrock of the Reef January 1, 2008 Bedrock of the Reef Hard corals are the underwater realm’s essential, yet vulnerable building blocks. Story by Suzanne Gerber ~ Photos by Barbara Shively It’s not exactly like missing the forest for the trees, but let’s just say that the novice snorkeller or diver pays much more attention to the passing fish and other ... Read more about this post
  • Talking Taino: Catch of the Day September 1, 2007 Contrary to our current dilemma, the Taino always knew where their fish came from. By Bill Keegan and Betsy Carlson “Here the fishes are so unlike ours that it is amazing; there are some like dorados, of the brightest colors in the world — blue, yellow, red, multi-colored, colored in a thousand ways; and ... Read more about this post
  • Sea-Faring Butterflies September 1, 2007 Flitting about the reef for food and courtship, butterflyfish swap wings for fins. Story By Suzanne Gerber ~ Photos By Barbara Shively English speakers call this colorful, delicate and playful species of fish by a poetic name — butterflyfish — but its scientific name tells a different story. Chaetodontidae, pronounced key-toe-DON-ti-day, comes from the ... Read more about this post
  • Partying, Taino-style June 1, 2007 The ritual of Taino arietos often had a deep and sacred meaning. By Bill Keegan and Betsy Carlson Music and dance are integral parts of human life. Every culture in the world has songs and dances that are used to mark important occasions and special ceremonies. Among the Tainos these were called arietos. Taino communities are characterized by ... Read more about this post
  • “Can’t Get No Respect” June 1, 2007 Often feared, the humble eel is actually fascinating to study. Story by Suzanne Gerber ~ Photos by Barbara Shively Pity the poor eel. It never makes anyone’s Top 10 list of Favorite Fish. In fact, for many underwater visitors, the mere pronunciation of its name inspires profound fright, often bordering on terror, or, at best, disgust. And ... Read more about this post
  • The Stranger King April 1, 2007 By William Keegan and Betsy Carlson The tale of the “stranger king” is told in some version in virtually every culture in the world. It is the tale of an immigrant king who deposes the former ruler and marries his daughter. The basic story line is as follows: The heroic son-in-law from a foreign land ... Read more about this post
  • Color My World April 1, 2007 Some fish exhibit drastic changes in appearance as they age. Story By Suzanne Gerber Photos By Barbara Shively Of all the traits and qualities of a fish’s life, color is the most important. We humans who snorkel, scuba-dive and visit aquariums tend to regard fishes’ colors and patterns as merely aesthetic: things of beauty that enchant and beguile ... Read more about this post
  • Tiny Treasures January 1, 2007 Small is beautiful in the underwater realm. Story by Suzanne Gerber ~ Photos by Barbara Shively Whether you’re diving, snorkeling or shopping for cars or jewelry, it’s human nature to notice the big, splashy things first. A two-carat diamond or cherry-red Porsche will catch your eye long before that tiny chip of serendibite or a Sunbeam. It’s ... Read more about this post
  • Talking Taino: Caves January 1, 2007 These subterranean caverns yield fascinating clues about early life. By Bill Keegan and Betsy Carlson “THE ISLAND has a section called Caonao in which there is a mountain called Cauta and it has two caves, Cacibajagua, CAVE OF THE JAGUA, and Amayaœna, CAVE WITHOUT IMPORTANCE. From Cacibajagua came most of the people who inhabit the island.” [Ram—n ... Read more about this post
  • Talking Taino: Boat Trips September 1, 2006 Surviving in an ocean environment links all TCI inhabitants as one. By Betsy Carlson and Bill Keegan Life on an island is just not possible without boats. The history of the Turks & Caicos, both prehistorically and historically, is linked to the ability to build boats and navigate the oceans successfully. Not just anybody can go out and ... Read more about this post
  • Quick Change Artists September 1, 2006 Fish like the parrot-, trumpet- and hogfish use color change for protection. Story by Suzanne Gerber Photos by Barbara Shively Of all the fish in the sea, the parrotfish may be the most recognizable. Technically, these common reef dwellers (and favorite of snorkelers and divers) are members of the Scaridae family. A number of years ago, marine biologists ... Read more about this post

What's Inside The Latest Edition?

On the Cover

Hobbyist photographer and Assistant Director for Research & Development at the TCI Department of Environment & Coastal Resources Dr. Eric F. Salamanca took this rare photo of a Bahama Woodstar hummingbird enjoying the nectar of Moringa flowers.

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