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The Twin Turtles of Oceania, by Lee James Pantas

Painting # 7 The Twin Turtles of Oceania
Prints available at artist's website

Fantasy Biology    

Male Turtle, Liza's Reef, coral reef art

Female Turtle, Liza's Reef, coral reef art

This painting shows a pair of  sea turtles called  Jumelez Les Verts-Bleus (Twin Blue-Greens) by the VanuaSemians that are  swimming in from the open ocean towards a stand of  tall coral located on the eastern side of the reef.

Twin Blue-Greens are extremely large ocean going turtles, measuring   an astonishing 8 feet or more in length which would make them the largest turtles in the world. They are identical in appearance except for subtle differences in their coloration, which is reversed in the sexes -females are more aqua green with blue overtones while the males are blue with green. They mate for life, usually seen swimming in pairs and  are  probably indigenous to  Liza's Reef since that is their only known breeding ground.  There have been sightings reported  from islands as far as 1540 kilometers away, which indicates that they are a true deep water species which can feed in the open sea as well as on coral reefs. More than likely  they have a regular circuit of reefs that they visit throughout the vast regions of Oceania.  Their large size, speed and mobility seems to insure that they have very few predators and probably share the  same ecological niches as  Australia's Great Barrier Reef dugongs and the large pelagic Leatherback Turtles.

Liza's Reef, coral reef artThey are similar in body shape to Green Sea Turtles and perhaps are members of the same genus, Chelonia, although that is a somewhat doubtful conclusion if one considers an absolutely unique feature these turtles have -three large missing dorsal scales on their backs which are replaced by crystal-like areas which seem to be windows of some sort. These "windows",  for lack of a better term,  present constantly changing vistas of stars, night skies and planetary horizons, and seem to be present only in living specimens. Dead Jumelez Les Verts-Bleus appear to have perfectly normal turtle shells. 

To the islanders these turtles are among the most sacred of  the reef creatures, a status they share with the prized Anges De la Reine (Queen Angels), and they think the turtles are a key to the mystery of how Liza's Reef came to be as it is today, a magical place where heaven and earth meet, and fish swim with stars.

Liza's Reef, coral reef artIn my painting I have shown  a couple of unique corals that also seem to be indigenous to Liza's Reef, the towering
Corail De Danse De Ciel (Sky Dance Coral) and theLiza's Reef, coral reef art delicate Corail En Filigrane Blanc (White Filigree Coral). Both of these are quite common to the reef and seem to prefer habitats that were within twenty feet of the surface. Associated with them often were beds of kelp on which the turtles would feed while on the reef. The Corail De Danse De Ciel
grew extremely tall and specimens are often over ten feet in height.

Liza's Reef, coral reef art

Liza's Reef, coral reef artThere are also an interesting little seahorse on the reef that prefers living near the kelp beds. The islanders call them Hippocampes de Fantôme or Ghost Seahorses, more than likely because of their pale translucent white appearance. These are rather large for seahorses, and some that are over six inches long.  Swaying gently in the ocean currents, these Liza's Reef ghosts appear as serene guardians to  miniature elysian kingdoms.