Today we documented a zone of mud and fine sediment situated between the protected area of the Cayos Cochinos archipelago and the Honduran continental coast. This is the site of a good deal of illegal trawling, for many of the shrimping boats do not respect the legal fishing distance from the coast.
These areas are rich in green algae, like those of the genus Caulerpa as well as "chupachups" (Rhipocephalus phoenix) and a few spots of marine sea grass. Afterwards, we returned to Mariposales.
This time we did find crinoids, or feather stars, something which we have been wanting to document since we began the expedition. These echinoderms are spectacular and, inevitably, pull our imagination toward Jurassic times, the era in which they dominated a many marine ecosystems. On this occasion it is a black and white crinoid (Nemaster grandis). A little further, another echinoderm, in this case a cushion sea star (Oreaster reticulatus).
Today seems to be the day of the invertebrates; we've also seen bearded fireworms (Hermodice carunculata), a few anemones that we haven't yet identified, and we paused to film in greater detail a few corals and a giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) - but a small one.