Friday, August 21, 2009

New sandy stretch at Tanah Merah

This morning James, Yan Xiang and I braved ourselves in a totally new shore territory to check out what kind of marine life exist in this stretch. We originally wanted to check out the corals off the sea wall but there was a tiny stretch of sandy shore that kept us distracted for one hour!

Like the sandy shore of East Coast, there are Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis) and tiny bits of living Sea fans (Order Gorgonacea) over here.

Cake sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta) are common at sand flats of Tanah Merah and its no exception here as well. Many of them are really large though closer check on some of them did not reveal the rarer Keyhole sand dollars.

Once again, the Spiny sea stars (Gymnanthenea laevis) were spotted again just like in East Coast yesterday. Two of them in fact!

It was quite weird to only find this one and only pinkish peacock anemone (Order Ceriantharia). Peacock anemones seem to be uncommon on Tanah Merah. Probably the substrate is not silty enough like those at Pasir Ris.

Several of the large-sized Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) were also spotted and I never seem to get bored looking at the ever-cute and adorable Five-spot anemone shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis)!

James found this bent Common sea pen (Pteroides sp.) that looks as if it has been stomped over. Actually this is quite a common sight! When exposed at low tide, the central stalk tends to be bent over in half so the colony looks like a limp feather.

Where there is water, there are fishes, like this Ornate lagoon-goby (Istigobius ornatus) which is quite common here.

James found yet another special find! This huge cowrie is the Arabian cowrie (Cypraea arabica) which seems to be only commonly seen at Tanah Merah.

Another cowrie found will be this Ovum cowrie (Cypraea ovum). Moon snail finds include the ever-stunning Pink moon snail as well as the Oval moon snail (Polinices mammatus).

This Blue swimming crab (Thalamita sp.) is very common on this shore! And some of them were found to be mating. Haha.

Swimming crabs are among the few crabs that are swift and agile swimmers. They usually swim sideways with their last pair of legs which are paddle-shaped.

This another species of swimming crab is the Blue-spined swimming crab (Thalamita sp.). I like its bright orange colour which also makes this crab quite conspicious.

Last but not least, I guess the prettiest crab seen today must be the Sally-light-foot crab (Grapsus albolineatus). They are also quite common on this shore as well, probably since the sandy stretch is near the seawall where they usually reside. It's quite interesting that this crab positioned itself beside the Thumbs up sea squirt (Polycarpa sp.).

More of today's photo on this shore at my Flickr page.

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