Blue Holes And Caves
Hidden away beneath the surface of the Bahamian archipelago is a magical world millions of years in the making. The Caves and Blue Holes of the Bahamas house some of the most spectacularly beautiful geological formations in the world. The species that reside in the watery depths are evolutionary anomalies and above ground the variety of bats and other creatures that make their homes in the caves are astounding.
An amazing underwater metropolis; the biodiversity of the reef is critical to species living in the Bahamas. Diverse and colourful marine creatures seek food and shelter among the complex coral structures in this interdependent environment. Every day they negotiate and to share the space and interspecies interactions abound. Schools of cleaner fish whom preen their neighbours in assigned cleaning stations or quick twists of fate can turn the predator into prey.
More than a tangle of roots growing out of swampy muck, the Mangroves are nurseries for the marine life of the Bahamas. More than 90% of the species of the Bahamas spend some part of their lives here. This is where baby sharks learn to hunt and young lobsters learn how to hide. The roots of these salt-water tolerant shrubs are also home for some remarkable creatures: from the tiny seahorse to the resilient tree crab. Even the iconic Flamingo gathers here to feed on the crustaceans that give them their pinkish hue.
Open Water makes up nearly half of the area of the Bahamas, but houses its most elusive species. These creatures must be able to swim far or fast, to search for food, mates and shelter. These iconic species: Oceanic White Tip Sharks, Sperm Whales and even the reclusive Blainesville Beaked Whales are some of the deepest hunters on the planet. Schools of fish and flocks of birds exploit every advantage in this environment, whether a patch of seaweed or a rocky outcrop.
The Sand Flats
Beyond the iconic and pristine white beaches of the Bahamas, the Sand Flats are home to fierce Iguanas, camouflaging stingrays, and the beautiful bottlenose dolphin. All of this sand is the surprising waste product produced by resident parrotfish nibbling on coral, producing one tonne of sand per fish every year. Each species relies on the surprising abundance in the sand flats both onshore and off. Green sea turtles spend most of their lives grazing on the sea grasses of the sand flats. Stingrays use incredible electro sensitivity to locate crustaceans hidden away in the sand. The creatures of the sand flats have unique skills for turning seemingly desert conditions, in to an advantage.
From the coral that formed the Bahamas, to the mangroves that protect its sand flats from tropical storms, each eco-region, and many species of the Bahamas, depend on each other to survive. Together these interconnected ecosystems and species embody the magic of the Bahamas. Explore the creatures that play surprising roles in one another’s lives and the intricate food web that connects them all. Measured by the incoming and outbound tides and the dramatic shifts from day to night, we spend a magical day in Wonderland.