Saturday, November 29, 2008

Intricate and fanciful snails

Today, GK and I went to a new shore that was explored by Ria two weeks ago. The tide was not very low though but I thought it would be a good break after the end of exams to go out to the shore. It was a blazing hot afternoon though and many marine creatures were hiding. Nevertheless, there's still lots to see!

There are good patches of spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis) and needle seagrasses (Halodule sp.) with plenty of snails dotting on top.

What are these snails?

These snails are Clithon oualaniensis that I've never seen before! They are found teeming the seagrasses blades.

What is amazing about these snails are their intricate designs on top of their shells, like patterns drawn patiently by God with a fine black marker. Something like the easter eggs we used to decorate patterns on.

Their patterns and colours does make me adore the Creator who made them to be so beautiful. They are a joy to look at.

It really seems that each snail has its own distinct design or colour which is similar to the button snails.

A closer look at this fanciful snail reveals their body that they used to cling on to the seagrass blades.

More of these pretty snails before I move on to the next series of snails.

What does this sand collar remind you of?

The sand collar is the egg mass of...

moon snails. This is a tiger moon snail (Natica tigrina) with dots on its shell.

There are many of these tiger moon snails on this shore and I managed to catch some action going on.

Indeed, the moon snails are doing some action, this one is feeding on a creeper snail!

Moon snails are fierce predators because they can wrap their huge body around their prey to suffocate it. If this fails, it has a gland at the tip of its proboscis that secretes an acid to soften the victim's shell. With some help from its radula, a hole is created.

On the rock, there are many nerites.

Like this one in orange.

As mentioned above, there are creeper snails like this one with its operculum.

They can be found everywhere on the rocks...

and also on the soft sediments.

Grazing on the soft sediment flat is this charismatic wader.

It is probably a female Malaysian Plover (Charadrius peronii). It was feeding during the low tide, and if you look closer, there is mud on its beak.

Soon, the plover decided to fly away, presumably after having its good meal.

It was good to see several adult sized carpet anemones which are uncommon on mainland shore because they are usually and unfortunately poached. These large carpet anemones can live up to a century and its quite a pity.

Hopefully these carpet anemones here will be able to stay here for good.

There are also many mudskippers running away from me. Haha.

And this very cute hermit crab in a black lipped conch shell. It was very shy and shrunk in at the slightest movement from me.

Of course, there is flora like this bunch of seaweed.

Tide wasn't very low but I managed to see a few half submerged patches of tape seagrasses in the waters. It's cool to know that seagrasses are doing well on this shore as they support lots of marine life, especially juveniles.

As Ria mentioned, "our shores are very much alive! Alas, all too often, raising awareness of our shores often leads to large groups of people going to these special shores. Careless trampling can hurt marine life. Other more destructive behaviour can be even more damaging. So perhaps, for the time being, we should leave this special shore alone."


Dom said...

Cool sand collar too! Looks papal :p

God bless!

alicesg said...

Wow so many snails. What I saw at the beach near the resort is nothing compared to
Yes good to not have too much publicity on the new shore cause too many crowds might killed them.
Thanks for sharing so many wonderful photos of the sea creatures.

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