New study from the Lakshadweep: Flexible Fish

In their bright yellow-and-blue finery, melon butterflyfish are hard to miss—you must have seen them on one of your dives. And if you’re like me, who hasn’t ever been on one, you’ve probably seen them swimming across your screen in some underwater video. These fish—the melon butterflyfish—really love being around coral, and for good reason. […]


Super Groupers: An Instagram Series

Rucha Karkarey is a research scholar with the Oceans and Coasts Programme at NCF.  She has spent the last seven years stalking groupers (these really interesting fish) underwater, trying to understand how they are coping with climate-change. She took over our Instagram for a week, and shared stories about curious behaviours of groupers from her fieldwork in […]

Colours of a Catastrophe

by Shreya Yadav   I am swimming in the unusually warm waters of Kalpeni in the Lakshadweep, overwhelmed by the bizarre colours of this catastrophe. Muted pastel shades have turned violently psychedelic. A branching colony of brown Pocillopora is now lavender, sky-blue fingers of Acropora a radiant white, grey sheets of Montipora fluoresce green and […]


Where the land meets the sea

by Pooja Rathod   Today’s article is not about animals walking on land or swimming in the ocean. It’s about big and small creatures living in-between – that is, where the land meets the sea. In this ‘inter-tidal zone’, the water rises and falls every few hours, alternately drowning and then completely drying out this […]

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Settling on shaky ground: How dead coral structures carve the fate of young coral recruits in the Lakshadweep islands

Photographs: Shreya Yadav Illustration: Rohan Arthur   For coral larvae—the free-floating progeny of adult coral—picking a perfect place to build their homes amidst the bustling crannies, alleys and turrets of reefs is ever so important, especially since once they settle, they spend their entire lives in the same place. But with sea temperatures spiralling upwards, […]


How I wish I was a fish!

Wouldn’t you love to be a fish – gorgeously coloured and interestingly shaped, spending your life jumping from one coral to another…just like a hawkfish? With a wonderfully apt name, these patient stalkers of prey behave like hawks. They rest and wait for that opportune moment when they can dash out to grab their meal. […]

The Constant Gardener

By Elrika D’Souza and Vardhan Patankar Out in the wonderfully clear azure seas of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, we embarked on a quest to study the little known animal, the dugong, commonly known as sea cow. Spending about seventy percent of their lives below the surface dugongs come into view only briefly when they […]