A Mean Mouthful

Sam Sloss's Image

While diving, Sam stopped to watch a group of clownfish dart around a magnificent sea anemone – an animal related to jellyfish. Sam was intrigued by the expression of this particular fish, which kept its mouth open. Only when he downloaded his photos did he see the tiny eyes peeping out from within. Sam’s shot revealed three different, but interconnected, life forms.

This fish had a tongue-eating louse in its mouth – a parasite that attaches itself to the base of a host’s tongue in order to suck blood. In the wild, clownfish are found living among the tentacles of a host sea anemone, which protects them and their developing eggs. In return, the fish remove debris from the sea anemone’s surface and chase away predatory butterflyfish.

Behind the lens

Sam Sloss

Sam, whose parents have long worked in the dive industry, became a certified diver on his tenth birthday. On his first year of diving he worked on buoyancy and read up on animal behaviour. A year later, his parents taught him to take underwater photos. Sam loves showing people the beauty of the underwater world and in doing so hopes to raise awareness and save its fragile ecosystem.

Image details

  • Nikon D300
  • 105mm f2.8 lens
  • 1/250 sec at f18  •   ISO 200  •   Nauticam Housing + two INON Z-240 strobes
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