Marine life in crystal clear water
With their crystal-clear water and incredible variety of marine life, Cozumel’s reefs offer an underwater experience you won’t soon forget. The waters surrounding the island are so clear that visibility can be up to 250 feet, opening up a world of beauty unlike any other.
As many as 250 different species of fish can be seen in Cozumel’s waters; one of the most spectacular is the Queen Angelfish, possessing bright blue-and-yellow markings and the distinctive blue “crown” on the top of the head. You can even catch a glimpse of the Toad fish, found nowhere else in the world. Making it’s home in the holes along the reef, this fish grows from 12 to 16 inches in length. It has the distinction of being one of the world’s fastest eaters: it can capture and eat a whole fish in milliseconds- faster than the blink of an eye!
In addition to the colorful fish, Cozumel boasts some of the biggest and most spectacular sponge formations in the world. Fed by a continuous current bringing a steady supply of food to the reefs, some sponges, such as the Elephant Ear sponge, can grow as large as 12 feet across. Other sponges, like the Barrel sponge, gain considerable size as well.
On the surface Cozumel has a number of unusual features and include certain endemic species, such as the dwarf raccoon(procyon pygmaeus) and the Cozumel wren(nasua nelsoni).
Migratory birds also rely heavily on the richly productive feeding grounds of the reef, which supports populations of magnificent frigate birds,brown pelican,olivaceous cormorant, and many others. The prehistoric iguana and the crocodile which you admire at Chankanaab Park are the state’s largest lizards and there are a host of amphibians, tree frogs are particularly colorful, their bright hues a warning to predators.