David Muirhead

Joined: Oct 22, 2016 Last Active: Apr 18, 2021 iNaturalist Australia

Experienced amateur citizen scientist age 66 currently living in Normanville South Australia 5204.
Keen snorkeler from childhood, scuba from age 16.
Motto for most of my diving life: " Stay South, Young Man".
My interest in tropical diving waned quite early . Hooked on the golden browns and reds of temperate macroalgae, after a few tropical dive trips(eg Fiji, Bali,GBR,Sri Lanka*) stony coral reefs all looked much the same. The fish move but the mostly drab corals don't. Sunlit kelp's bedazzling fluidity is otherworldly. (A recent Ningaloo trip softened my stance somewhat.)
I prefer observing and photographing South Australian marine life, along with anything terrestrial dead or
alive ( preferably not human!)
Ever dived a temperate algal rainforest ? There's no going back...it'll change you.(*Wearing my tattered medical hat reminds me: life expectancy drops if you're in the herd of troppo leisure divetrippers. Greater risk of harm on tropic jaunts ,with higher health costs:cheap packages only tell half the story.Amoebic dysentery...hmm).
The under-researched temperate rocky reefs of Southern Australia fascinate me. The Great Southern Reef is larger, contributes more to carbon fixation,generates more oxygen and is more biodiverse than any tropical reef system, including the GBR.
Because 'Dive' and 'Reef' are almost synonymous in the community mindset many divers neglect the rich variety of benthic habitats providing unparalleled opportunities inThe Unique South.The world's most diverse near-shore temperate marine habitat choices occur right here,and most have shore access.Shallow bays, crystal rock pools ,some tidal, others deep yet amenable to safe exploration even as massive swells hammer the outer ramparts in spectacular fashion. Remote rocky headlands with splendid platform reefs, the world's most southerly mangroves,vast seagrass meadows,sponge gardens, amazing bryozoan reefs, you name it we've got it.Add in our surprisingly wide continental shelf with many offshore isles and WOW!
Shore snorkeling's a euphoric thrill along our thousands of km of accessible coastline.
Southern Australia has the world's highest temperate marine biodiversity,and the world's PEAK ENDEMISM! (Goodbye Galapagos). Platypuses, roos, koalas, echidnas,peak avian and botanical terrestrial diversity are unsubtle clues to what lives in this temperate marine backyard. The marine life frontier is right here (Fact). The proportion of species that are undiscovered, undescribed, or known only from 1-2 museum specimens beggars belief.
Life's ours for the making, and eternity's waiting in the carbon cycle.

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