Tulamben‘s living cushions are the Choriaster granulatus species of starfish or commonly named as cushion sea star or doughboy sea star (the latter an adorably fitting name!)
Ever seen the show Spongebob Squarepants? Bali Dream Divers’ PADI Instructors like to give marine life their own ‘spin’ on naming, so this starfish is fondly known as ‘Patrick’! And ‘Patrick’ can be spotted at any coral reef along Tulamben’s shoreline. Its cousins’ predators are numerous: crustaceans mostly, who slice off appendages of smaller starfish! Sounds like a horror movie!…even more so knowing that starfish can grow another appendage if needed, so the cycle of underwater life is balanced! Yet, ‘Patrick’ is far too large for small crustaceans to prey on, but there is the very rare Triton’s trumpet (Charonia tritonis); an enormous mollusc who balances the overpopulation of ‘Patricks’ cousin, the carnivorous ‘Crown-of-Thorns’ (Acanthaster planci) with its voracious appetite for coral reef.
Divers don’t really get to see the Triton’s trumpet too often, except during the night when it hunts. So, contact our ‘Dream Team’ who will be more than happy to arrange a ‘Stay & Dive’ package with experiences to dive during the day and night in Tulamben!