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Cape Knifejaw

Cape Knifejaw

The Cape knifejaw (Oplegnathus conwayi) is the cold water equivalent of the tropical Parrotfish. While adult Cape knifejaws are dark grey, nothing close to a rainbow coloured Parrotfish, their juveniles are bright yellow with black vertical bands. Their teeth fuse together to form beak-like structures much like parrotfish. Its ‘beak’ has no doubt been the …

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Spotted Gully Shark

Spotted Gully Shark

The spotted gully shark (Triakis megalopterus), also referred to as the sharptooth houndshark, is a shark we are always excited to find in the kelp forests around Cape Town. We mostly encounter these houndsharks in shallow inshore areas particularly around Waters Edge, Shark Alley and Millers Point and around Buffels Bay in Cape Point Nature …

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Boulders Beach, Cape Town

Boulders Beach

One of the top Cape Town tourist attractions is the penguin colony at Boulders Beach in Simons Town. We spend a lot of time in this area with our snorkelers and freediving students, especially at Windmill Beach which flanks the penguin colony on the southern side and Waters Edge which flanks it on the northern …

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Starfish

Starfish – Sea Star

Starfish or to use the correct, up-to-date, name ‘Sea stars’ are much loved star-shaped echinoderms. Like most people we use the two names interchangeably. There are about 1900 species of sea stars in the world’s oceans ranging from the tropics to the polar regions. They are found between the intertidal zone down to 6000m deep. …

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Abalone

Abalone – Perlemoen

South Africa has five species of abalone which is locally referred to as perlemoen. Haliotis midae is the biggest of the South African abalone and most commonly seen. The others are Haliotis parva, Haliotis spadicea, Haliotis queketti and Haliotis speciosa. Abalone are marine gastropod molluscs or in simpler terms a large marine snail. The name …

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Feather Duster Worm

Feather Duster Worm

As far as worms go, the Feather duster worm also known as the Giant fanworm is one of the prettiest you’ll find in Cape Town’s kelp forests. The Feather duster worm (Pseudobranchiomma longa) is found between the intertidal zone and as deep as 200m. These beautiful feathery worms stand out even when surrounded by feather …

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Sea Urchin

Sea Urchin

Sea urchins are round, spiny echinoderms which roughly resemble a hedgehog rolled up into a ball. The word urchin is in fact derived from old French meaning hedgehog. There are about 950 types of sea urchin found around the world from the intertidal zone down to 5000 metres below. They also range from tropical waters …

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Feather Star

Feather Star

Feather stars, also known as crinoids, fall under the echinoderm group of marine animals. Echinoderm means ‘spiny skin’ in Greek and feather stars definitely have this despite their flowery appearance. In fact, it’s very easy for novice freedivers and snorkelers to mistake these animals for seaweed due to their stationary, flower-like appearance and their tendency …

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Sea Anemone

Sea Anemone

Whenever we take customers kelp forest snorkeling, their reaction on seeing sea anemones, starfish and urchins for the first time reminds us of how beautiful these creatures, which we tend to take for granted, really are. There are numerous species of these fascinating marine animals in the kelp forests and they seem to come in …

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Pyjama Shark

Pyjama Shark

We love all sharks, but small, inquisitive ones ‘dressed in pyjamas’ definitely get a bit more love from us. Pyjama sharks, also known as striped catsharks, are a common sight during our Cape Town snorkeling experiences and adventure freedives in the kelp forests. They are fairly abundant in the Western Cape’s intertidal zone and are …

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