Thursday, December 9, 2010

Back at Ubin's other shores

Exactly one year after my first visit, we are back at this Ubin shore. No, we were not at Chek Jawa. There is more to Ubin's marine life than Chek Jawa. :)

The rocks of Ubin are very special, they have vertical furrows or also known as pseudo-karren that were etched by rain over many decades or so. It is not easy to find such a rural and beautiful environment in mainland Singapore anymore.

On the rocks are lots of marine life, like the black zoanthids, Thumbs up sea squirts (Polycarpa sp.) and the orange sponges.

Somehow for this trip, we came across so so many of these Thumbs up sea squirts (Polycarpa sp.)! I could even count more than 1o of them in this photo!

The rocky shore here is full of life and vibrancy. I like the different species and colours of sponges.

I think it is my first time noticing this sponge-looking encrusting organism on the rock.

Ria found this sponge "with legs". This sponge looks a bit like the one shown in the previous photo.

It wasn't really a sponge with legs but a sponge utilised by the Sponge crab (Family Dromiidae)! The sponge crab uses the sponge to camouflage itself from predators. They have the characteristic pink claws. How cute and "girly" this pretty crab is.

I came across some of these anemones that were not commonly sighted. They are possibly the Ball-tip sea anemones.

Here's another group of ball-tip sea anemones but this time in brown colour.

As usual, lots of life abound underneath rocks! What can you spot here? There are sponges, ascidians, sea cucumber, sea star, sea squirt etc etc...

Here's a closeup of the small Rock star (Asterina coronata).

The team also found several other sea stars such as a couple of the Biscuit sea stars (Goniodiscaster scaber).

We also saw quite a number of juvenile Cake sea stars (Anthenea aspera). And the bright colour ones were also spotted! Very pretty.

I like this shot of the Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis) on the rock, with a background behind. The backdrop of this photo looks very familiar as this was the exact spot where another photo (of me) on the top right side of my blog was taken many many years ago.

It was nice to find the Onyx cowries (Cypraea onyx) again by the side of the rocks which we also came across a year ago.

The tide was not extremely low and the rain was stirring up the sediments. Thus we couldn't really see what was underwater. Nevertheless, as the waves drew away momentarily, I could spot this partially submerged Pink flowery soft coral (Family Nephtheidea).

I'm glad to also spot many of my favourite sea fans still doing well on this shore.

Ria spotted many clams that has the shape of the Nest mussels (Musculista senhousia). I'm not too sure are they really Musculista senhousia since their shells are totally black.

On this shore, we came across tons of dead coral skeletons. I'm sure in the past, this must be a thriving and rich coral reef!

On this trip, we were constantly hit by the rain as the dark clouds hover past us. Thankfully, there were no lightning and that the rain was intermitten. Thus we could still do a fair bit of looking at the shores.

Just before we leave, I had a finale surprise from under a rock. It was a pair of Lined chromodoris nudibranch (Chromodoris lineolata)!!! I'm not sure if anyone has seen this species in the northern shore before as this is a species that we commonly only spot in our southern shores. What a treat! :)

Somehow, I think this is a nice shore as it is not as heavily visited by people as compared to mainland shore. Hope it stays this way!

More photos of the trip here:

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