Swimming Hole Beach, Rota, Northern Mariana Islands
Just over 12 miles long by 4 miles wide, Rota is the southernmost of the Northern Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific. (Guam is a separate territory). Arrival of the first European explorers in 1524 led to a history of occupation and finally US Commonwealth Status in 1978. Sinapalo is the largest village on the island.
This sample exemplifies the rich biodiversity of the reefs. Multiple foram species range from the small seed-shaped grain, to large disc-shaped Marginopora, star-shaped varieties and the pink bits of sessile Homotrema. Coralline algal bits are chalky white while the more glossy fragments are coral and show interior chambers. Look for minute gastropod shells, including the hollow brown tube from a vermetid snail. The button-like disc near the top is the calcified operculum from a turbo snail.
Swimming Hole Beach
Peter Fitzgerald, Historicair CC BY-SA 3.0