Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beting Bemban Besar is huge!

Believe me... work has swamped me that I hardly have time to blog. Sorry for this delayed post. :P

On the 3rd of April, a team of us set off from mainland before the sun was up...

And when we were approaching our destination, the sun was slowly peeking over the horizon. We were going to Beting Bemban Besar (BBB), a huge patch reef off Semakau.

In no time, we were greeted with a glorious sunrise!

After the usual amphibous landing, we set foot on this reef that only exists for that couple of hours for the day. Beyond that, it will unite back with the sea to be remained as submerged.

BBB is just so big that at some parts it is quite barren but at other parts, one can find lots of marine life like the many Leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae) that you can see from this photo.

In addition, there are also many hard corals, especially mushroom corals. Here are two Mole mushroom corals (Polyphyllia talpina).

And here's another one that is blue.

This other species of mushroom coral is probably the Long mushroom coral.

In general, adult mushroom corals are different from most hard corals in that they are free-living. In other words, they are not attached to the substrate.

Another pretty hard coral that I chanced upon will be this pinkish Acropora coral (Acropora sp.).

In another colony of Acropora coral, there was this tiny clam among the branches.

And among the other branches, there were also a couple of porcelain crabs! How cute!

Other hard corals that I came across include this greenish maze-looking Brain coral (Family Mussidae).

And this disk-like coral which gives its common name as the Flowery disk coral (Turbinaria sp.).

The best hard coral find for me will be my first encounter with this small colony of the Cabbage coral (probably Trachyphyllia geoffroyi). It was found quite at the reef edge. I like it's bright green-yellow colour!

Enough of corals, here's the more mobile creatures! This tiny little pimply fellow is a slug, a snail without a shell. It's name is the Pimply phyllid nudibranch (Phyllidiella pustulosa).

Another commonly sighted slug of Singapore's shores will be this Polka-dot nudibranch (Jorunna funebris).

Well, here's a snail with a shell! And its a very very pretty yet super tiny snail that only Chay Hoon's sharp eyes can spot. Look closely and you can see its bright orange mantle! Could this be an allied cowrie?

Towards the end of the trip, Marcus informed us that he has spotted a Fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa)!

We had to walk a long distance to reach this clam as the shore was just gigantic. Though Mei Lin couldn't be with us, we took lots of photos together with scale also to pass it to her for her clam project. And wow, this clam is about 30cm long!

Just as we were about to end the trip, I came across two of these Upsidedown jellyfish (Cassiopea sp.).

But the most scary jellyfish to avoid contact with will be these Ribbon jellyfishes (Chrysaora sp.)that can give a horrible sting. They are in season, so we were extremely careful when we left BBB through the amphibous departure.

More about the special anemones found during the trip here.

And more photos of the trip here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

amazing marine life... :)

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