Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tiger Cowrie at Terumbu Raya!

We all saw our very first intertidal Tiger cowrie (Cypraea tigris) at Terumbu Raya this morning!

Probably not that we would expect to find it in the intertidal, Mei Lin and Chay Hoon both scream in delight when they saw this special cowrie!

Yes this is a rare cowrie! According to the Singapore Red Data book, although this cowrie was considered one of the commonest cowries of the Indo-Pacific, and present on Singapore reefs in the past, the tiger cowrie is now exceedingly rare. A large specimen was seen on one reef of the southern islands in 1988.

It has a pretty mantle of yellow, white and black lines with many pointy projections.

Here's how the shell looks like when the mantle is pulled back a little. The shell is purplish and pink with lots of black dots.

The underside of this cowrie shows its fleshy foot!

And the foot seems to be quite muscular, it can help the cowrie flip itself rightside up.

What a find! More about today's trip in a while! :)

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