Monday, November 17, 2008

Stars without five arms at Pasir Ris

Despite being the reading week for exam preparations, somehow I ended up at Pasir Ris beach this evening together with Ron and Alex. Despite sitting on a reclaimed land, you can see lots of green on the silty shore which are covered by seagrasses and seaweed. Of course, if there's flora there will somehow have fauna.

We saw a couple of sea stars that did not come with the usual five arm we would visualise starfish to be.

It's my first time I see a six-armed crown sea star (Asterina coronata) which was spotted by Alex.

Sea stars are also attractive from its underside.

A closer look reveals the little bumps on the underside and the centre is the where the stomach leads from.

In fact, the usual crown sea stars we saw previously are five armed like this one. They do like to hide within crevices or underneath rocks.

Of course, there are many sand stars (Astropecten sp.) as well!

And we also came across this sand star with four arms instead of five!

Near the water edge, Ron found a very tiny brittle star that looks bit different from the usual ones we see. This one though has five arms, but it has very very long arms.

It looks like something we haven't seen before!

A closer look at this tiny brittle star shows that it has short spines on its arms and the central disk is in dark grey in colour.

The underside of this unusual brittle star.

Other than stars, Pasir Ris is also home to other marine critters.

Like the peacock anemone, this one is semi-juvenile.

This large anemone with many beige spots on its body column is all shrivelled up when out of water. I wonder how beautiful it will be with its tentacles out during higher tide.

There are also carpet anemones around!

We saw quite a number of different crabs including this mud crab, and also the moon crab, flower crab, leaf porter crab and some unidentified (to me) crab.

Alex found this pair of sea hares, I wonder what they are up to.

Last but not the least, is this very cute bobtail squid.According to the wildfacts website, these squids are generally rather spherical with a pair of rounded fins that make them look a little like an aquatic version of Dumbo the Flying Elephant!

Their body can glow and this allows it to blend in a moonlit sky!!!

Most are bottom-dwelling, burying themselves during the day and only coming out at night.

Even Pasir Ris beach has marine life during low tide, so if you live near a sea shore at any part of Singapore, why not take some time to visit it during low tide. You might see something we never know of. Just remember to be gentle with the wildlife.


alicesg said...

Wow, very interesting to see the photos of these sea creatures, they looked very alien to me. I visited safra resort and had a chance to go to the nearby beach, I saw a hermit crab and was so Took a video of the hermit crab will post in my blog next week. :)

Unknown said...

Hi! So glad to hear from you again and that you've explored the shore near safra resort. Can't wait to see your hermit crab video!

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