Monday, December 7, 2009

First time to Ubin's other shores

Given that Chek Jawa is so popular for its marine habitats, I believe that other shores of Ubin do also can be as exciting. Therefore, a small team of us decided to join along to explore a new shore that I've visited before previously during high tide. This is also my first time to Ubin's other shores.

Pulau Ubin and Sekudu is famous and well known for its rock formations. We have a "frog formation" at Sekudu and here at Ubin there is a rock formation that looks like a creature, perhaps a sea turtle? haha. More about these magnificient rocks at Joseph Lai's webpage.

The seagrassy area of the shore can be quite soft but it's heartening to see some resemblances of Chek Jawa where there are many Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni). Can you spot four of them in this photo?

Though most of the carpet anemones are green in colours, some can be in bright purplish in colour.

And I'm so glad to find my favourite creatures: sea stars. This is a pair of Biscuit seastars (Goniodiscaster scaber).

And I've also found a juvenile Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera). Wheee!

On one of the rocks, attached is this Pink flowery soft coral (Family Nephtheidea).

And I was pleasantly surprised to spot this commensal little crab among the soft coral.

Moving on, we got closer to the rocky parts of the shore near the huge rock boulders.

Checking the beneath sides of rocks, there were many interesting finds, one of which is this Chiton (Class Polyplacophora).

A chiton can create a powerful suction to cling tenaciously onto a hard surface. According to Ruppert "A chiton forewarned is almost impossible to remove without damaging the animal". So please do not try to pull them off the rock surface.

There were several Crown sea stars (Asterina coronata) underneath or near rock surfaces. They are also known as rock stars. Haha.

Within the dark parts of the undersurface of huge boulders, one can find an amazing assortment of creatures attached to the hard surface. Much of which are ascidians and sponges. I think the water droplet clinging to the ascidian is quite artistic.

More colourful surfaces of the rocks.

More sponges and sea squirts.

Yup, it never boring to look at these colourful photos of the rock surfaces that are filled with life.

We saw several of this Blue-spotted flatworm (Pseudoceros indicus). They tend to be commonly found on rocky northern shores.

Ria pointed out to these large blobs which probably are contracted ball-tip sea anemones. We do not know their exact identity though. It's my first time seeing them.

She also found this mass of blob-like creatures with orange blobs. Once again, their identity remains a mystery thus far.

Near the water surface at the deeper ends of the rock surfaces, I saw this Purple-legged swimming crab (Charybdis sp.) clinging hard to the sides.

And yes, when the tide was the lowest, we caught a glimpse of the sea fan garden with lots of sea fans and even a sea whip!

The rest found more exciting creatures like this stunning Feather star (Order Comatulida) that look much better when relaxed in the water.

There were also a couple of this Brown striped flatworm (Pseudobiceros gratus)!

Among some of the sea cucumbers sighted is are the orange sea cucumbers.

Moving on, we came across a patch of shore with lots and lots of zoanthids.

These zoanthids are very colourful when submerged in tide pools.

These zoanthids are the Button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.). Sometimes mounds of zoanthids are sometimes mistaken for hard corals.

The last part of our exploration was this wall facing the sea that were crowded with life! There were a number of the pretty Onyx cowries (Cypraea onyx).

When I was taking a closer shot of this cowrie, I didn't notice the flatworm beside it until I processed this photo back at home. Haha.

More cowries found on the surface include this lovely pair of Ovum cowries (Cypraea ovum). The bluish bunch of blobs are yet another mystery. I've not seen them before. They might be ascidians?

We were once again blessed with good weather. Not only that, we had a stunning sunset to accompany with our trip.

And soon it was time to leave Ubin, a special island filled with rustic charm.

This trip was a great one, which spurs me to come back another time to look more at the other shores of Ubin.

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