Highlands & Islands

Colourful cave life in St Kilda and North Rona

Yarell's blenny Image copyright George Stoyle/SNH
Image caption A Yarrell's blenny pictured in a cave in North Rona

Scientists have released a series of images revealing the colourful range of wildlife found in sea caves at some of Scotland's most remote islands.

Scottish Natural Heritage and Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University examined the sites in St Kilda and North Rona last year.

They said the entrances to the caves were teeming with life.

The creatures included scorpion fish, jewel anemones and lion's mane jellyfish.

North Rona is an uninhabited island that lies off Scotland's north west coast, while St Kilda is an archipelago off the Western Isles.

St Kilda was inhabited for thousands of years until 1930 when the last 36 islanders left.

Today, scientists, conservationists and workers at a military radar station spend months at a time on the main island of Hirta.

Image copyright George Stoyle/SNH
Image caption The scientists dived to the caves from a survey vessel
Image copyright George Stoyle/SNH
Image caption One of the research team at the entrance to Seal Cave in St Kilda
Image copyright Richard Shucksmith/SNH
Image caption The scientists explored sea caves in St Kilda and North Rona
Image copyright George Stoyle/SNH
Image caption Jewel anemones
Image copyright George Stoyle/SNH
Image caption Orange and white jewel anemones
Image copyright Jo Porter/SNH
Image caption Pink jewel anemones
Image copyright George Stoyle/SNH
Image caption A scorpion fish hides among anomones
Image copyright Richard Shucksmith/SNH
Image caption A juvenile anglerfish in a cave at North Rona
Image copyright George Stoyle/SNH
Image caption A lion's mane jellyfish with fish sheltering in its tentacles in Village Bay in St Kilda
Image copyright George Stoyle/SNH

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