Saturday, April 17, 2010

Charming Changi shore

As mentioned in my previous post on the aeolid slug, I have not visited this stretch of Changi beach for more than 10 months! And finally I could find a date to drop by this charming shore where life persists on despite harsh weather condition, silty waters and human impacts.

This trip also is my first morning/predawn trip of the year. We were greeted with a beautiful pinkish sunrise in the middle of the trip on a Good Friday morning.

It was great visiting the usual residents of the Changi shore such as this ever-elegant and pretty Peacock anemone (Order Ceriantharia).

This is a Swimming anemone (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) that is able to pulsate its body and tentacles to swim in the water. During low tide, it usually just rest at the intertidal flat waiting for the tide to come in.

It was great to revisit the Kiasi hermit crab that has a big anemone attached to its shell. We have seen this before in August 2008 and October 2008.

An interesting sighting of an anemone in action will be this Tiger anemone that seems to be injesting the sand star by ejecting its stomach.

Here's a closeup of the poor sand star that was about to be the anemone's meal.

This tiger anemone is sometimes also called as the strawberry anemone. Strangely, we have only seen it in the northern shores and no where else.

The Flowery sea pen (Family Veretillidae) is a close relative to the anemones (under cnidarians) and it has many polyps extended out just like the corals.

There were quite a number of the Geographic sea hares (Syphonota geographica) on the shore. They are slow moving but very cute too.

James' sharp eyes found this tiny juvenile Carpet eel-blenny (Congrogadus subducens). At first we thought it was a pipefish from far.

This longish creature is actually called a Peanut worm (Phylum Sipuncula). They were once so plentiful in Singapore that they were collected to feed ducks!

Now over to my most favourite Phylum: the echinoderms. Here we have the Thorny sea cucumber (Colochirus quadrangularis) extending its pretty feeding tentacles in the water.

But the most special sea cucumber find must be this stunning Sea apple sea cucumber (Pseudocolochirus violaceaus)! It is my third time seeing this cucumber on this shore.

This time, I remembered to wait for its feeding tentacles to come out because it looks very pretty in marine photos taken elsewhere. However, the sea cucumber was only willing to show this much of its tentacles after a long wait but of course its better than nothing.

Somehow, I felt there were lesser sea stars than usual on this shore. Nevertheless we came across some of these Biscuit sea stars (Gonodiscaster scaber).

And James found this orange-tipped Spiny sea star (Gymnanthenea laevis).

The best star find of the day will be this solo Luidia sand star which is probably Luidia hardwicki.

Last but not least, we moved towards the rocky part of the shore and greeting us are the many of these Purple branching sponges (Callyspongia sp.).

As usual, lots of marine life like to hide beneath rocks like this Wandering cowrie (Cypraea errones).

A nice find other than the cowries will be the Hoof-shield limpet (Scutus sp.).

Last but not least, we managed to find a couple of the Crown sea stars (Asterina coronata) and my favourite is this pinkish individual.

Wow, that was a fruitful trip though I lost my wallet in the cab while getting to Changi. It made the trip moody for me. But praise God the cab driver was so kind hearted as he personally returned my wallet that evening!!! :) :) :)

1 comment:

Joe Lai said...

Thanks for sharing : ) Wonderful discoveries! Changi is such a natural wonder to treasure!

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