Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Changi Beach comes to live!

Another mainland shore visit today.
I visited Changi Beach today and there were many things to see on this period of low spring tide.

There were many patched of seagrass but the animals there were more attractive to take pictures of. So some types of seagrass can be seen in some of the following images.

On the shore, there were plenty of white sea urchins (Salmacis sp.) and small hermit crabs running around. As usual, the sea urchin had various types of camouflage.
White sea urchin
Gathering of small hermit crabs
The white sea urchins were everywhere and Sankar was joking that they were trying to follow us along the shore. The many small hermit crabs make use of different types of shell and they move pretty fast.

Also plentiful on the shore are the thorny sea cucumber (Colochirus quadrangularis). I think I also saw a few pink warty sea cucumber (Cercodemas anceps). In fact, I have one picture of the feeding tentacles of the pink warty sea cucumber. The two sea cucumber looked rather similar and it is easy to overlook them if not carefully observed. I do remember seeing a few sea cucumbers with yellowish background. Next time I must look carefully.
Thorny sea cucumber
Pink warty sea cucumber (feeding tentacles)
According to Ria's factsheet:
The Pink warty sea cucumber is less common and has pink warty bumps instead of soft thorns.
There were also many smooth sea cucumbers seen half buried in sand.
Smooth sea cucumber
The team also saw a few sea stars on the shore. I only manage to see the knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus) and a painted sand star (Astropecten sp.)
Small knobbly with a fish coming in just before I shot this image
Cool looking painted sea star
I was wondering if this knobbly was the one we released from the festival. However the size looked too big compared to the big knobbly we had at the festival. There was a crab moving in and out beneath this knobbly and I thought it was dead. A quick turn reveals that the knobbly is alive. What was the crab doing beneath the knobbly?
Large knobbly I found, with a crab appearing on the lower left
There were two sand collars of moon snails I saw and they are bigger than the ones I have seen so far. In one of the images, I have a comparison between the sand collar and my size 8 bootie. I confirmed, by a gentle touch, that the sand collar is really firm and the surface feels smooth.
Sand collar as wide as my bootie
Another sand collar
Plenty of geographic sea hare (Syphonota geographica) moving around on the exposed shore. While making an attempt to flip one over, I felt its softness and jelly-like body and it refused to turn. There were many patched of pink egg strings among seawgrasses belonging to the geographic sea hare.
Geographic sea hare
Pink egg strings
A seagrass filefish was flipping around on the sandy shore and it looked stranded. I helped to shift it into a shallow pool and it flipped away shortly after that. What a help.
Seagrass filefish
The team spotted a numbfish (Narcine sp.). Marcus shifted the numbfish into a shallower water as it was stranded. The numbfish has electric organs that can discharge mild to strong electric shocks. So we had to be very careful when handling such animals.
There was a sea pencil and a spiky sea pen seen on this shore.
Sea pencil
Sea pen

Two octopus were seen, with one hiding in an empty shell and another was stranded on the sandy shore. Sankar transferred the stranded octopus into the shallow pool and it inked shortly after.
Octopus in empty shell
Octopus releasing its ink
The noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis) is truly amazing and huge. It is as big as the width of my bootie. Shortly I found my first noble volute, a second one was close by. A comparison with my bootie shows how gigantic this snail is.
Noble volute with bootie as comparison
Another noble volute
There were some anemones seen on the shore. Some were found attached to fan shells, some where found on the shore.
Unknown anemone 1
Unknown anemone 2
Common cerianthids

Also seen were many long bristleworms moving in and out of their tube holes and a fan worm.
Long bristleworm
Fan worm
A pretty pink sand dollar!

Mei Lin was wondering what other animals she can find as the waves were coming in and she saw a juvenile dog-faced water snake (Cerberus rynchops).
Juvenile dog-faced water snake
Love was in the air as we saw a pair of mating flower crab (Portunus pelagicus) and a pair of reticulated moon crab (Matuta planipes).
Mating flower crab
Mating reticulated moon crab
Our last great findings will be the dark diana conch (Strombus aratrum). It has a cute looking pair of eyes.
Underside view
Top view
Cross eyed
Ending of this trip was my best friend, orange striped hermit crab. This hermit crab here is the larges I have seen so far. It was residing in a large snail shell. Look at the size of the animal against the size of the needle seagrass.
Large orange striped hermit crab
While walking on the high shore, we saw a ghost crab scrambling up to its hole.

Changi beach is filled with many critters. Some of the animals there are enlarged versions of what I have seen. Amazing.

After two days of shore trips, I am feeling the aches from all the bending. It is sure great workout sessions.

Tomorrow, I will be visiting a special place off mainland - Beting Bronok.

Read about what others saw:
Mei Lin - Psychedelic Nature
Ria Tan - Wild Shores
(about another Changi location and weird things she saw)

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...