Environment Park Subotopic Layout
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Banded Morwong (Cheilodactylus spectabilis)
Docile, curious, slow and gregarious in nature, Banded Morwongs are prominent inhabitants of the park and can be easily approached by divers. A large fish growing to over 75 centimetres, they are the old timers of the park's boulder fields and reefs. Many of the larger fish could have been present in the area for over 30 years.
Banded Morwongs are very faithful to their home turf and populations that you now see probably took decades to establish. With their big eyes and small fleshy lips, watch for them head down, tail up sucking and sifting small animals off the boulders.
The cool waters of Australia and New Zealand have the greatest diversity of morwongs in the world.
Feather Star (Cenolia tasmaniae)
Feather stars, or crinoids, live between boulders and amongst crevices. They are part of an ancient animal group related to sea-stars and sea-urchins. A shy animal during the day, all that you will see of them are their many long, branched feeding arms stretched out into the current attempting to trap tiny animals. This food is passed down the arms in a string of mucus to the soft-bodied animal concealed beneath. With a u-shaped stomach and an anus close to their mouth, feather stars have become adept at the careful art of waste excretion. Two hundred million years ago feather stars were prolific in the ocean but, with the evolution of predatory fish, their numbers were reduced.