Monday, July 2, 2012

Guiding at Semakau

About a week ago, I was back at Semakau guiding a group of public participants who have signed up for the trip with RMBR.

Without fail, I will coax the visitors to give a wacky pose to take the group photo along the "long kang" or dead zone of the seagrass meadow.

It's quite fun to take the photos consecutively for a few times!

You can literally picture and imagine the actions made by them: some with no change in movement or pose, some with delayed poses and some showing a leap in the air for a brief moment. :) Thanks so much for the enthusiasm despite such an early morning call for all of us on this trip.

Even before we cross the seagrass lagoon, there was an uncommon sighting! I was kind of taken aback to see from far a patch of black among the seagrasses. It is actually a motionless monitor lizard underwater.

As the tide was really going out, we spent a little more time at the beginning exploring the coral rubble and reef.

As usual, the participants are more observant than me, not to say also that many eyes see more things. One of them caught this well camouflaged reef octopus gliding to hide inside a crevice.

What a joy to see so many of the Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus) near the reef edge!

These charismatic and lovely stars never fail to become the icon animal of the day's walk.

As usual, I will stare a little longer at Acropora coral (Acropora sp.) as many different types of commensals do live among the branches of the coral colony.

Aha! Here is a tiny commensal crab with white eyes staring right at us. We also saw tiny clams among the living corals.

This Mole mushroom coral (Polyphyllia sp.) is an individual and not a colony of animals. Mushroom corals tend to be only found at better reefs of Singapore.

It is interesting to share about the different types of hard corals to our shore visitors as some of the names are quite cool and do resemble what the name suggests. Such as this Brain coral (Family Mussidae)! Don't you think it really looks like a brain?

I like this photo showing how everyone was so fascinated by the touch and behaviour of the Stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora).

Another resident giant except for the giant knobbly stars that can be found on almost every Semakau guiding trip will be this Fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa). Glad to know that it is still doing well! 

This is a shell of a rare cowrie that I have not seen before: the Four-spot cowrie (Cypraea quadrimaculata). Hope to see it alive one day!

On our way back to the high shores, I came across this stranded sea hare and gently placed it inside a tide pool.

It looks better when it is all fluffed up and moving in the water. This is likely the Extraordinary sea hare (Aplysia extraordinaria).

There were also two very very long Synaptic sea cumcubers among the seagrasses. They do really look like huge worms don't they? :) 

The next season of lows will start this week! I'm getting all excited to explore our shores again!

More photos of the trip here:

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