Saturday, January 2, 2010

Changi Beach, 2 Jan 2010

Changi beach actually holds treasures, and this is a fact I believe not many know. However, there are some fortunate ones who do know of this. When I reached the sandy/seagrass patch of Changi beach yesterday, there were quite a number of people walking about the exposed shore, some looking for shells to barbeque, some just walking around and i believe, relishing the joy whenever they spot something beautiful/cute/interesting.

Before I got to this patch of Changi beach, I stopped by the small rocky patch along the river. The Zebra coral (Oulastrea crispata) is pretty abundant on the rocks.

I saw some individuals of the Ornate onch slug on the large boulders. These are pretty common on rocky shores. This one has a trail of digested algae behind it!

Looking into the rocks I saw a Thumbs-up sea squirt. It looks so out-of-place! But it's really cute and it is cold and hard to the touch. It is actually an Ascidian, which is a kind of animal that filter-feeds.

These seem to be Sponges.

On the way to the sandy/seagrass patch, I saw some Solitary tubeworm individuals on the sandy stretch. These are really common, and I've seen them on all my intertidal shore trips.

The weather was great and there was much activity at the sandy/seagrass patch. It is great that people are aware of what we have on our shores; I just hope they exercise this interest with caution and care as well, as the wildlife on our shores are actually very fragile. Hence if YOU were to hit the shores someday, sometime, PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU STEP! Thank you (on behalf of the wildlife)!

The sandy/seagrass patch was full of life! It was already 6pm when I got there, the sky was turning dark very soon and boy, were there much to see! I explored the shore eagerly, wondering if I would have any exciting find today :D

First I saw an orange Striped hermit crab, which is pretty common on our shores.

Then I saw a few individuals of the Common peacock anemone. They were pretty common and comes in some pretty colours!

There was one I saw which looks a little different though. However I reckon it could be one of a kind of the Peacock anemones as well.

When the day turned darker, this seemed to glow! I did not take this picture with flash cos' I wanted to show the eerie green glow. I wonder if this is something similar found in hard corals; as Ria's wild fact sheet writes: "A study suggests some corals glow in the dark to help or to protect the zooxanthallae. Called flourescence, this happens when pigments in the coral polyp transform solar radiation into less damaging wavelengths. In this way, polyp pigments act as a sunscreen to prevent damage to the symbiotic algae (zooxanthallae) within the coral polyp. Corals may fluoresce even during the day, but the sunlight is so strong that you can’t see it."

The Thorny sea cucumbers were very common too! Many of them had their pretty feathery feeding tentacles out to feed.

I found this individual which looked a little different though!

There were a few Ball sea cucumbers as well.

The most exciting find of the day would be the White sea urchin. It had lots of stuff stuck on it! I think it's charming :)

As dusk fell, the Sand sea star (Astropecten indicus) came out to feed and swim.

This picture shows the very active tube feet of the Sand sea star which helps it to move (and perhaps helps it to push food into its central mouth as well).

Individuals with regenerating arms were common. Juveniles were pretty abundant too!

Above: A juvenile Biscuit sea star and a juvenile Sand sea star
Below: A juvenile overturned Sand sea star

A few adult (as well as juvenile) Biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scaber) individuals were found too. This adorable sea star is easily confused with the Cake sea star and the Spiny sea star. Here's how to differentiate between these 3 species!

Above: An adult Biscuit sea star
Below: An overturned juvenile Biscuit sea star

The sand sea stars and biscuit sea stars are really flexible! They look like they can do acrobatics!

Above: Juvenile Biscuit sea star
Below: Juvenile Sand sea star

I came out from the trip feeling as if I didn't see much but actually, I realise that wasn't really the case! Eitherway, it's always nice to explore and see what the shores have in store for me (and hopefully, this is the same for YOU). :)

1 comment:

  1. hey babe! this is sucha different side of you i learnt today! i alws thought these creatures would bite and hurt me somewhat. but seeing these pretty and gentle creatures on your bare hands really opens up a new persective to my ignorant self! really interesting to read as well! keep up the great work girl!