Excerpt from The Reef Guide by Dennis King and Valda Fraser
Namibiana Buchdepot has shared an excerpt from The Reef Guide by Dennis King and Valda Fraser.
The Reef Guide documents over 800 species of reef fish and invertebrates that can be found along the east and south coasts of southern Africa. King co-authored The Reef Guide with Fraser, who is also a diver.
The book does not provide a scientific account of oceanic fauna and flora, but instead acts as a guide for divers and marine enthusiasts to identify the creatures of the sea.
Read the extract:
To the east, the warm Southern Equatorial Current, a huge wind-driven water mass moving in an anti-clockwise direction in the Indian Ocean, splits upon reaching die northern tip of Madagascar. To the south, near the coast of KwaZulu-Natal, the two currents straddling the island of Madagascar rejoin to form the mighty Agulhas Current. This warm water brings a plethora of tropica Indo-Pacific species to the eastern shores of southern Africa. To the west, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current flows from west to east in the Southern Ocean, giving rise to the Benguela Current. This cold, nutrient-rich water flows northwards along the west coast of southern Africa and is extremely rich in plankton, which reeds other animals high up in the food chain, notably sardine and anchovy. The range of habitats, such as lagoons and estuaries, sandy beaches and rocky shores, coral reefs and open oceans, are further influenced by various physical factors such as temperature, prevailing winds, light intensity and salinity. As a result, marine creatures have adapted in many different and, often, wondrous ways to their particular environments. By studying this book for just a few hours, readers will be amazed at how quickly they will learn to recognise the creatures depicted. The ability to identify species will increase rapidly after only a few dives. The real fun begins when an unfamiliar species is sighted.