Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cyrene Reef right here in Singapore!

Cyrene Reef is a jem unknown to many, even our own Singaporeans. Yes it is found right here in Singapore! The most amazing fact of Cyrene Reef is that it houses an abundant wildlife including vast seagrass meadows, and is home to a healthy population of adorable Knobby seastars (Protoreaster nodosus), despite being surrounded by petrochemical plants on Jurong Island and Pulau Bukom.

Yi Shyuan exploring the reef

We were blessed with good weather throughout our stay on Cyrene Reef indeed, when dark clouds loomed in the distance. Jason spotted our first find of the day - a juvenile Geographic sea hare (Syphonota geographica)! It was frantically swimming away.

Then we saw a lone Knobbly seastar! We couldn't wait to see more of them.

Yi Shyuan found what looked like a Bohol nudibranch (Discodoris boholiensis)!

Cyrene Reef is probably the only place in Singapore where you can get an un-obstructed 360 degree view of the skies!

Another Knobbly amongst the seagrasses..

Jason spotted what looked like an Ornate leaf slug (Elysia ornata).

Crabs can be commonly spotted on Cyrene Reef as well..

The Hairy crabs (family Pilumnidae) are fairly common; nonetheless they are really cute! I call them Teddybear crabs!

A living fan shell..

The sky continues to threaten but as there were no lightning, we continue exploring Cyrene Reef for what it beholds..

The Common seastars are really pretty common; over here a mating pair..

The white sea urchins were pretty common too! They love to cover themselves with debris.

Lying amongst other white sea urchins was this beautiful Thorny sea urchin (Prionocidaris sp.)!

Soon it was time to leave and as we headed back to the boat we found the population of Knobblies! Alas the tide was also turning in so we couldn't get very good shots of these lovely creatures.

As we left Cyrene Reef and got onto the boat safe, it began to drizzle. We were really lucky indeed!

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