Saturday, November 27, 2010

Recce at Sentosa shore

I was back at Sentosa's Tanjong Rimau last Wednesday with my colleagues recceing the shore for student visit in the future. And it was also their first time there! :)

As tide was a bit high and the rain was drizzling, we spent most of our time at the high shore and rocky area. Tanjong Rimau is home to magnificent coastal cliffs and landforms. A great place for both living biology and geography lessons to take place.

There are many natural caves found beneath the large rock formation. However, these two caves have been blocked by concrete slabs. Here's Jillian, who is very sporting in taking this photo as a scale to show how big these rocks are!

I admit I have been not too observant on the coastal plants, thus it was the first time I had a good look at this rare mangrove plant. It is the Nyireh mangrove tree (Xylocarpus rhumphii) which is listed as 'Critically Endangered' on the Red List of threatened plants of Singapore. More about this special plant here.

There are also many Raffles pitcher plants (Nepenthes rafflesiana) growing by the cliffs of the shore!

Over to the rocks, one can sometimes find rock pools which naturally become wild aquarium for many marine creatures. This one in particular has lots of pretty zoanthids!

In the distant away, there were shore birds that perch on the rocks. I believe they are feeding while the tide is low. This bird is the Collared Kingfisher (Halcyon chloris).

The rocky habitat is a wonderful place and home for snails! A wide variety of species can be found, if you are keen to spot them despite their camouflaging shells. The snails in this photo are the Toothed top shell snails (Monodonta labio).

There were also lots of different types of nerites grazing the algae found on the surface of the rocks.

At some portions, the rock can be as busy and crowded with life just like the one in this photo. Here are many Lightning dove snails (Pictocolumbella ocellata) and also a slow moving Onch slug (Family Onchididae). I guess why they are called lightning snails is because of the yellow stripes on their shell resemble a shape of a lightning! Hehe.

An unidentified anemone was sighted. My guess is that this is a Banded bead anemone (Anthopleura sp.).

I came across a couple of Snapping shrimps (Family Alpheidae) while flipping rocks.

But my favourite is this orange one! I don't really recall seeing an orange snapping shrimp before.

Also found underneath rock will be this Little African sea cucumber (Afrocucumis africana).

The bloom of Hairy green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.) was still there, thus it was hard to spot many creatures. Glad that we still managed to come across this pretty Mosaic reef crab (Lophozozymus pictor). It is the most poisonous crab in Singapore!

On the sandier side of Sentosa, there lives many pretty Orange fanworms.

Somehow, the sand dollars of Sentosa's shore are very very huge! This is the Cake sand dollar (Arachnoides placenta).

And there were also many adult sized Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) though no commensal shrimps were spotted.

Towards the end of the trip, we had a special find! It is a Black frogfish!

The frogfish has a bait or a lure (beige colour in this photo) at the top of the head to attract prey within striking distance. It is capable of 'sucking' small fishes into its huge mouth simply by opening it.

Overall, the trip was great! The terrible thunderstorm of that afternoon did not affect Sentosa, so we were once again blessed with good weather that was cooling.

More photo of this trip here:


Allen said...

probably the same black frogfish that we saw and Ria saw before too?

Unknown said...

perhaps! hehe

Ria Tan said...

The black frogfish I saw was sadly on the shore that has since been buried for the IR....sigh. But it's good to know you saw one on your trip. Bravo!

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