Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back to first love at Tanjong Rimau

After a quick look at the Siloso islet just nearby, I decided to also spend the remaining time of the shore time over at Tanjong Rimau.

Tanjong Rimau is probably the last remaining natural reefs off Sentosa. Extensive reefs used to cover most part of Sentosa until they were buried or reclaimed for development. Just during 2007, The northern reefs off Sentosa North were buried for the Integrated Resort. I am nevertheless thankful that all is not lost where ordinary Singaporeans can still visit Tanjong Rimau to experience the true underwater world in the wild and natural setting.

Tanjong Rimau is considered my first love but it's the first shore I visited during low tide in 2006 that spurred me the interest in marine biology and our shores of Singapore. I remember my first visit was for a Sentosa Seagrass Transect in 2006 where I was blown away with the variety of fabulous marine life found.

So much of reminiscing the past, today I met Abby and her friends on the shore! It's so cool to be out on the shores because I might just bump into people I know.

The waters at the reef look clear with no signs of oil spill. Marine life looks good as usual!

There were quite a number of crabby finds like this Red egg crab (Atergatis integerrimus). Though they are red like chilli crab, red egg crabs are poisonous to eat where their toxins are not destroyed by cooking.

Talking about being poisonous, no other crab in Singapore compares to the Mosaic reef crab (Lophozozymus pictor) because it is the most poisonous crab of Singapore! There were several documented deaths caused by eating this crab.

How about crabs that are not red? I'm sorry but colour is not a good indication of the levels of poison. This Brown egg crab (Atergatis floridus), like other Xanthid crabs, is poisonous and should also not be eaten.

Moral of the story, don't just eat anything you pick up from the shore!

There were a couple of nudibranchs found including this commonly sighted Polka-dot nudibranch (Jorunna funebris) that one won't get bored looking at it because it is just so cute.

Abby and friends found this special Phyllodesmium briareum nudibranch (about 1cm only) that we have only seen it intertidally at Sentosa. Its feeds on soft corals.

What is special about this nudibranch is that addition to feeding on soft corals, it has a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae (brown algae) within the skin of its body to make food. Thus, this slug can also be considered as 'solar powered' and can receive extra nutrition from the photosynthetic products.

While Geraldine and I were looking at a mosaic reef crab, the crab suddenly went underneath a rock to hide and "chased" out a Three-spined toadfish (Batrachomoeus trispinosus)!

Though somethings known for being ugly, I find its face quite cute to look at.

Tanjong Rimau is a good place to find hard corals!

Iwas searching for mushroom corals and my wish was granted when I saw this Mole mushroom hard coral (Polyphyllia talpina).

Of course, there are many different species of Favid hard corals (Family Faviidae) found at the reef in all sorts of pretty patterns.

Other hard corals spotted include the anemone corals (Goniopora sp.) at the top two photos. The bottom left photo is a pretty Brain coral (Family Mussidae) and the bottom right photo shows a Thin Disk corals (Turbinaria sp.).

There are also a good variety of soft corals at Tanjong Rimau like this Leathery coral (Family Alcyoniidae).

I found this colony of soft coral that I don't know of its identification.

And of course there is the stunning Omelette leathery coral at Rimau which gains the liking of visitors quite easily during Naked Hermit Crab Sentosa guided walks.

We walked up towards the beacon side and was relieved the pool of zoanthids are still doing alright.

Within the rock pool of zoanthids, there are also pretty banded fan worm.

The gang with me today were quite adventurous and gamely explored the area around the beacon. The terrain was rocky and was nevertheless a good massage for our soles.

The sky lit up with blue skies and when the sun shone unto the shore, it was a pleasant sight to see clear waters against the blue blue sea. Labrador Park is just across Rimau!

At Rimau, there are spectacular and breathtaking views of natural cliff formations. Unfortunately, not many know of such a natural beauty at the touristy island of Sentosa.

By the rocks on the high shores are many different kinds of Nerite snails (Family Neritidae).

There were sand banks as well which is full of life! There were several Cake sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta) crawling around.

And I am glad to also find some Common sea stars (Archaster typicus) as well!

Soon it was time to say goodbye to this lovely stretch of natural shore!

1 comment:

Hen said...

Wow! Can actually see the brown specks of zooxanthellae in your pic of the Phyllodesmium briareum nudibranch! Great shot :D

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...