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  • In the north-east of the Indian Ocean, spanning a latitude of 6 to 16 degrees north of the Equator, lies the Andaman Sea.

  • For the people of Thailand and Burma, also known as Myanmar,

  • the two nations bordering the eastern edge of the Andaman,

  • the sea has always been an integral part of life and the economy.

  • The Andaman's warm waters support an enormity of marine life and they are relied upon for food as well as transport.

  • Limestone formations such as those which make up the Phi Phi Islands

  • contrast with granite outcrops like the Similan Islands.

  • The warm, clear water and diversity of marine life make the Andaman an attractive dive destination

  • and many divers visit each year to explore and enjoy the underwater world

  • and seldom is the marine landscape as diverse as it is here.

  • Millions of years of decay have cut the limestone pinnacles of Burma's Mergui Archipelago

  • into a terrain of underwater canyons and caves.

  • Further south, the huge granite boulders of Thailand's Similan Islands continue beneath the waterline,

  • creating dramatic caves and swim-throughs.

  • Much of the submerged rock has been colonized by soft corals like this mushroom leather coral at Christmas Point

  • or stony corals like this field of staghorn coral at Koh Bon

  • or this Montipora coral at East of Eden.

  • Elsewhere magnificent anemones have taken over.

  • At shallow sites such as Richelieu Rock the ebb and flow of the tide

  • brings the oxygen necessary for turtle weed, a type of green algae, to flourish.

  • Dendronephthya soft corals adorn the valleys and slopes at Hin Muang, or "purple rock" in Thai.

  • Elsewhere pretty crinoids, or "feather stars", take up prime positions for filtering plankton from the water

  • a feeding strategy shared by giant sea fans, whose sieve-like skeleton makes them highly efficient filter feeders.

In the north-east of the Indian Ocean, spanning a latitude of 6 to 16 degrees north of the Equator, lies the Andaman Sea.

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Reef Life of the Andaman - Part 1 - Introduction & Corals

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    Yue Hua Liu posted on 2013/12/13
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