Biscayne National Park: Convoy Point

Biscayne National Park encompasses Biscayne Bay and many islands and shores just south of Miami, Florida.  To really enjoy the park it’s necessary to book a boat and go snorkeling or scuba diving.  Unfortunately I didn’t have time in my schedule and had to settle for walking along Convoy Point near the entrance.  This little taste of the park was still worthwhile, however.

Just outside the park there were some cool vertebrates to see:

Unknown fish in a canal just outside Biscayne National Park. Photographed 04/09/2012.

Unknown fish in a canal just outside Biscayne National Park. Photographed 04/09/2012.

Huge American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis, Alligatoridae) in a canal just outside Biscayne National Park. Photographed 04/09/2012.

Once inside the park, the views from Convoy Point were impressive:

View along Convoy Point, photographed 04/09/2012 at Biscayne National Park.

View along Convoy Point, photographed 04/09/2012 at Biscayne National Park.

View along Convoy Point, photographed 04/09/2012 at Biscayne National Park.

The rocks along the shore were fossiliferous limestone (either Miami or Key Largo Limestone), harboring many fossil corals, bryozoans and mollusks:

Fossil in the limestone at Biscayne National Park. Photographed 04/09/2012. Pen for scale.

This Pleistocene limestone was deposited in ancient coral reefs relatively recently (in geologic terms), between 12,000 and 2.6 million years ago.

Fossil in the limestone at Biscayne National Park. Photographed 04/09/2012. Pen for scale.

Fossil in the limestone at Biscayne National Park. Photographed 04/09/2012.

Amid the shore foliage there were anoles (Polychrotidae) thick like flies:

Anole (Polychrotidae) at Convoy Point, photographed 04/09/2012 at Biscayne National Park.

Anole (Polychrotidae) at Convoy Point, photographed 04/09/2012 at Biscayne National Park.

The shoreline was equally thick with mangroves:

Mangroves at Convoy Point, photographed 04/09/2012 at Biscayne National Park.

These semi-aquatic plants grow pneumatophores, aerial roots that grow upward above the water surface to expose themselves to the air:

Mangrove pneumatophores at Convoy Point, photographed 04/09/2012 at Biscayne National Park.

There were also a number of these beautiful morning glories (Convolvulaceae) with their vines and flowers growing up through the boardwalks:

Unknown morning glory (Convolvulaceae) photographed 04/09/2012 at Biscayne National Park.

I’m sure the clear waters harbored many exotic coral, fish, and other exciting features.  I decided to sacrifice snorkeling here, however, in favor of spending time at Dry Tortugas National Park on the following day.  It wasn’t a decision I regret, and I’ll cover more of that in the future.  It does leave me wondering, however, what I missed beneath the waves here at Biscayne.  Perhaps I’ll get the opportunity to explore this park more in the future.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Geology, National Parks, Vertebrate Zoology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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