The BIOLOGY OF CARIBBEAN CORAL REEFS is presented as a VIRTUAL DIVE, with text, photographs, and videos. The VIRTUAL DIVE has a logical order as indicated in the menu above, reading from left to right, and in the following paragraph, but most of the topics are also "stand-alone".

The ORDER is as follows. First comes a description of types of Caribbean reefs, including how they form and threats to their survival. Next comes an overview of their biodiversity including a small section on mangroves. There is also an account of potentially dangerous reef organisms. Later sections tell how organisms recruit to the reef, the hazards they face as larvae and juveniles, the role of asexual reproduction in recruitment, how as adults they compete for space and other vital resources, and the ways in which they live together. In other sections you will learn about nutrition of coral-reef organisms, including photosynthesis, herbivory, carnivory, detritivory, and bacterivory.  The VIRTUAL DIVE concludes with a description of the many and varied defenses of reef organisms, and the role that colours play in behaviour and survival.

There are 312 videos and 2300 illustrations, including photographs, drawings, graphs, and cartoons.

My intent is to create a searchable index of common and scientific names of species that will enable instant linking to sections dealing with each species. This should be completed by the end of 2014.

NOTE I produced an introductory version of BCCR several years ago as a DVD, but its linear format proved unwieldy and slow, and like a book, it was set in stone. The present web-based version allows changes to be made quickly and easily, so don't hesitate to give me suggestions


Throughout the VIRTUAL DIVE your seahorse dive-leader will explain what you are seeing. Whenever the dive leader appears, a video is available for viewing. Simply CLICK ON the dive leader to see it.

A description accompanies each video, usually in both voice and written forms. If you wish to view in silence, you will have to turn off your computer's sound. The videos replay automatically. If a video opens but doesn't play, sometimes it helps to click on the dive leader again. It takes time for the large ones to load.

This first video happens to have no narrative, only a short description as shown.

drawing of seahorse dive-leader for BIOLOGY OF CARIBBEAN CORAL REEFS photograph of blue tangs on reef as start of video in index of website BIOLOGY OF CARIBBEAN CORAL REEFS  
Diver follows a group of foraging blue tangs - Turks & Caicos 2003
  You can access topics via the drop-down menu at the top of each page, via the TOPICS page, or via the various links shown in blue throughout the text. All my own photographs and videos in BCCR are free for the taking. If, however, there is a "courtesy of..." descriptor, it means they belong to someone else and you must contact the person named for permission to use them. If you do use any resource item an acknowledgement and link to BCCR would be appreciated.
  If you would like to contribute photographs or video from your dives in the Caribbean, then please don't hesitate. When you think about it, photographing- and filming-SCUBA-divers are the ones on the spot, with first-hand knowledge of what is going on, and there are thousands of you. Such contributions would be interesting, provocative, exciting, and could lead researchers aong new and different lines of exploration. It would make the BCCR participatory and certainly more topical. Contributions will of course be acknowledged where they appear and I will also include a link to a favourite dive-Club or personal website.  

Write to me at if you have questions or if you have suggestions on any aspect of the site.