Monday, May 25, 2009

More finds from Changi

Other than echinoderms that one can find them to be doing well at Changi, there are also other interesting animals on this shore. The shore was teeming with life and we had to be extra carefully to prevent overtrampling.

Just immediately beside this sea star is the Miliaris cowrie (Cypraea miliaris)! They are often found as a pair of male and female. Judging from this, I was thus not too surprised to find the other cowrie just nearby.

This elegant looking creature with colourful tentacles are peacock anemones (Order Ceriantharia). They are not flowers but animals.

This particular peacock anemone is a great specimen to explain about their inner and outer ring of tentacles. Their outer ring of long graceful tentacles (in purplish brown here) usually gather food from the water. There is an inner ring of shorter tentacles (bright yellow here) that ring the central mouth and they usually tuck food into the mouth.

Various animals may live with or near a peacock anemone. Small black feathery fanworm-like creatures called Phoronid worms may be found near peacock anemones.

Though they can penetrates the tissues of the peacock anemone, phoronid worms are not parasitic and does not absorb nutrients from the peacock anemone directly. Thus, I wonder what is then the relationship between the peacock anemones and the phoronid worms.

I also encountered the usual Tiger anemone and the Swimming anemone (Boloceroides mcmurrichi).

I love sea pens and thus was fascinated to find the Flowery sea pen (Family Veretillidae) and the pretty purplish Slender sea pen (Virgularia sp.).

Who doesn't like colourful creatures? I do, and I particularly fancy this colourful Purple-legged swimming crab (Charybdis sp.) among the different other types of swimming crabs.

How about the not-so-colourful creatures? I believe every creation of God has something special worthy to be admired or learnt from. Just like this boring coloured yet interesting elbow crab (Family Parthenopidae) where their pincers are many times longer than their body.

Despite only finding many moults of the Horseshoe crabs (Family Limulidae) today, we were glad to also eventually find living ones.

This out-of-water Scallop (Family Pectinidae) was fun to look at! It was closing and opening its shells nonstop. A peek into the interior of this living scallop reveals something that look like egg yoke and egg white. I must be hungry to think this way!

The whole shore is full of Seagrass pipefishes! Many are zipping around the tidal pools while some unfortunate ones were stranded dry when the tide went low.

Collin was with us looking for seahorses and there was a solo find of this Estuarine seahorse (Hippocampus kuda) by Chay Hoon.

Today was quite a octupusy day! I had quite a lot of chances in meeting these active creatures.

Collin showed me this special octopus that is so huge that it was bigger than our face!!

Last but not least, we were well entertained by this Smooth seagrass octopus that hid inside broken glass bottles. How were we entertained? The octopus was constantly squirting water out nonstop. Haha, just like a water fountain.

Well, at least there was some humour from these interesting creatures at an unearthly predawn hour out at the shore, on top of my dry cold jokes. Today was especially humid and I was sweating nonstop at the shore! Hope tomorrow's weather will be better, no rain please too!

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