Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sea fans return to East Coast

Immediately straight after my exams is a series of very very low tide. This time, Ron and I decided to visit East Coast Park at 4.30am can you imagine. Though we had to attend to morning appointments later, it did not stop us from visiting nearby shores. East Coast is a good choice since it's quite forgotten and I want to check if the sea fans are back or not.

Ria in 2006 reported many "fan-tasy" finds in the wildfilms blog here and here. However, when I checked out last year (2007), there was no sea fan except for a miserable small one.

Immediately stepping into the shore, with memory of the low-diversity of shore creatures from my previous trip, I was stunned to see this leaf slug or also known as Elysia.

There are a number of echinoderms on the shore. Like this thorny sea cucmber that is common at Changi shore.

And on top of this warty sea cucumber is another echinoderm. Was tiny and its a brittlestar!

Somehow, a whelk or snail decided to cross the purplish unknown sea cucumber.

Strangely, we only encountered one Astropecten sand star. But it's a good sign that there might be more :-)

A Stunning find by Ron! A featherstar. Wow. He found his first mainland sighting of featherstar yesterday at Changi and today at East Coast another one. Unexpected find indeed.

A closer look at the central area of the featherstar reveal details that make me marvel.

A pair of Salmacis-looking sea urchin was found too, adding on to the echinoderm checklist to this interesting shore.

Dr Daphne will be glad that attentions are also paid to the anemones. They come in different shapes and sizes. From very tiny wheeny ones to ones bigger than your face.

The carpet anemone I found last year stuck at a bag was STILL THERE. Amazing.

There are also many interesting gobies and also this fish which I don't know what is it.

I saw the uprooted Cymodocea serrulata seagrass and also the Tape seagrass. It seems that there might be a seagrass population in deeper waters which support the life at this shore.

Stumbling upon this mangrove horseshoe crab, I called out to Ron.

He came and check it out, and realized there is not one, but three horseshoe crabs! What's more amazing is that the mangrove horseshoe crab is hitching a ride on the mating pair of the coastal horseshoe crabs.

It's exciting to see the sea fans returning to the shore! There are many of them and they come in different shades of colours.

More sea fans of East Coast!

You can find living creatures on near or on top of living creatures. They live together. Like the thorny sea cucumber spotted among the sea fans.

Ron found also cuttlefish eggs attached to the sea fans.

And the more interesting creatures found on the fabulous sea fans include different colours of brittlestars curling around.

I find the red brittlestars very attractive. In fact, I have not seen them before.

I think this is the main attraction of the life found at sea fans: allied cowries.

That is not all, hermit crabs also seem to love the sea fans. Look at the polyps of the sea fans. Sea fans are related to corals.

It was funny yet sad towards the end of the trip to find this dead octopus, totally white.

Like Chek Jawa, the sandbar area has plenty of tubeworms.

Soon 7am struck and we had to leave the shore since the tide was rising fast too.

Was a long walk to find a cab but the encounter of this jungle fowl sorted of distracted us too. We saw it with its hen and little chicks. Too bad they are very shy and refuse to stay still for us to photograph.

Overall, today was very much better than expected. So much life, at East Coast Park. Will be back :-)


kungfubunny said...

wow!!! omg. i'm amazed at the diversity at east coast. i'll be checking it out when i can too.

Ria Tan said...

Fabulous! It's wonderful to know that life is thriving on the East Coast shore!

And thanks for checking up on this and for sharing!

Kok Sheng said...

Yes. It's amazing indeed!

Hopefully the sea fans are here to stay for long.

Ivan said...

COOL! I haven't had the chance to properly explore East Coast. Nice to see that it's so alive despite all the abuse from the hordes of visitors. =)

And oh no! That mangrove horseshoe crab must be feeling quite lonely and desperate haha...

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