CREATURE FEATURE: Barracuda … more than just a catchy 70s tune

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“You lying so low in the weeds, I bet you gonna ambush me.” — as sung by Heart in the 70s hit “Barracuda.” And this is exactly how barracuda’s hunt for their prey, using stealth and speed.
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Barracudas are long, lean hunting machines with sleek bodies that allow them to slice through the water at high speeds (40mph), puncturing schools of unaware fish.

Turneffe Atoll — the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Western Hemisphere — is packed tight with the largest mangrove system in Belize, ideal for barracuda. The thick underwater fauna acts as a feeding ground for other wildlife, unawares of the barracuda’s presence.

Of the 27 varieties of barracudas there is one that stands out above the rest — the Great Barracuda, which can grow up to almost 6.5 feet (2 meters) in length and weigh as much as 83 pounds (37 kg).

Add to this a jaw full of teeth that cut like razor blades and you have a fish that is highly evolved to rule the underwater depths. The fish has been around and honing its skills for some 50 million years.
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Strangely, humans have been known to fall ill after eating barracuda, people often become ill from ciguatera fish poisoning, perhaps because the reef fish that barracudas eat themselves consume algae that may contain high levels of the toxin.

Barracudas feed on an array of fish such as groupers, small tunas and grunts. They tend to be solitary but have been fond hunting in small groups and are common in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, not to mention large parts of the Atlantic Ocean.

The waters of Belize and particularly Turneffe Atoll are therefore a vital habitat for the barracuda and subsequently one of the best places to see the torpedo-like fish. Check out the website: http://blackbirdresort.com

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TURNEFFE ATOLL SYSTEM: What makes it so important?

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Turneffe Atoll is located just over 24 miles (38 km) east of Belize City and is surrounded by intensely coloured waters, which glisten vivid blue, green and turquoise. An atoll is a ring-shaped reef, island or chain of islands formed of coral. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At approximately 30 miles (38 km) long and 10 miles (16 km) wide it is the largest atoll in Belize. Turneffe Atoll is made up of a series of mangrove islands, cays, lagoons and lush grassland marine robes — all of which are surrounded and protected by a ring of vibrant and unique coral species.

The atoll was officially declared a marine reserve in 2012 by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development.

It is the most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere. The islands — some of which are larger than 5,000 acres — are covered by more than 77 different varieties of vegetation. Interspersed with lagoons, mangrove forests cover almost all low-lying areas of the atoll.
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Turneffe Atoll’s reef supports a wide range of diverse aquatic species such as the endemic white spotted toadfish and the white lined toadfish. Plentiful sponges and corals provide feeding grounds to endangered animals including the green sea turtle.

Blackbird Caye South is thought to have the largest sea turtle nesting site on the atoll and has witnessed loggerhead turtles nesting on Blackbird Oceanic Field Station beaches in recent years.

Belize’s largest American saltwater crocodile population also resides within the atoll, approximately 200-300 individuals. It is also the only offshore stretch of water designated for the endangered Antillean manatee.

Giant marine toads, green tree snakes and other reptiles and amphibians use the littoral forests and brackish lagoons at their home.

Blackbird Caye Resort can take you there. Check out the website for more information: http://blackbirdresort.com

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For those of you who want to get away, but just can’t leave your homes…

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For those of you who want to get away, but just can’t leave your homes…

How can your peaceful morning, incredible sunrise, and beautiful beaches get any better? For many the answer may be to get away but still enjoy the comfort of being at home. Now Blackbird has a new neighbor that you are just going to have to meet.

Perched just a few steps from our full service  resort, just north of the standard cabanas is the very unique Blackbird beach house. The beach house experience includes all amenities to make you feel home away from home! At the Blackbird beach house there is an incredible view of the picturesque reef in the front and the lagoon to the west. This is the perfect environment to host families and small groups. Our unique Blackbird Island home is a one of a kind home and the only one on the island available for rent.

 

Beach House features:DSC02049
Bedrooms: 4 bedrooms, sleeps 5-8 persons.
Bedroom 1  –  Master room,  very spacious with a king bed, A/C inner wall unit, two night tables, shelving with hangers, a flat screen TV, and a fully equipped and adjoining bathroom.
Bedroom 2- Queen Bed, AC unit, two night tables with shelves.
Bedroom 3- Queen Bed, AC unit, two night tables with shelves.
Bedroom 4- Queen Bed, AC unit, two night tables with shelves.
Bedrooms 1, 2, & 3 share one more fully outfitted bathroom.
Bathrooms: 2
Kitchen & Dining
A fully outfitted kitchen with refrigerator, gas stove, and microwave, complete with closets, drawers and cupboards. Includes: glasses, pots, and other cooking utensils. Dine in the main house or outside on the verandah.
Living room
Large fully furnished open space living room complete with TV (Direct Tv service), stereo, DVD, phone and internet service.
Patio
There is a full length front and back patio with lounge chairs and tables, 2 BQ pits, large outdoor fan, solar lights in the sand.
Also included:
  • towels & linens (bath, kitchen, and beach towels)
  • golf cart
  • 3 meals daily
Contact us for pricing today!
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