Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Predawn surprises at Changi shore

I'm back at Changi with Ron to check out the shore this morning!

I was supposed to visit this stretch of Changi last month but had to abandon it at the very last minute due to my injury. Am so glad that I am in better condition now to have a look at the marine life on this particular shore after more than a year's absence.

There were quite a number of surprises on this predawn trip! One of which will be this tiny weeny greenish seahorse!

I will not be able to spot this Estuarine seahorses (Hippocampus kuda) if I did not squat down to look at something instead. 

There were lots of White sea urchins (Salmacis sp) on the shore! They seem to be in season.

These sea urchins are not as spiky as the usual ones that we know of. They tend to carry lots of different kinds of stuffs on top of themselves. Seems like a good way of camouflaging!

A first sighting for me on this shore will be this Common sea star (Archaster typicus) found by Ron! We only saw one throughout the entire trip though. That's a little weird. :)

These Remarkable sea cucumbers (Holothuria notabilis) seem to be in season as well as we saw quite a number of them. Same goes for the Smooth sea cucumbers (Class Holothuroidea)- they are everywhere!

This is a stunning reddish sea cucumber which could be the unidentified Orange sea cucumber.

Ron found a Peacock sole (Pardachirus pavoninus) which happens to be beside a sea star! Haha.

I was delighted to see the bigger version of this uncommon Spotted box crab (Calappa philgarius) for the first time. This box crab is a good burrower and it can go down into the sand in no time.

Big snails wise, we saw a number of the carnivorous Noble volutes (Cymbiola nobilis). This individual was in the action of feeding on a....

...clam! Can you see the shell near the foot of the enormous snail?

The only slug found today will be Philine sp. which I think is a first record for this shore. We have seen these slugs at Tanah Merah and Changi East previously.

Is this another of the same slug burrowing in the sand?

Nope nope! It is actually the Naked moon snails (Sinum sp.) which are rather flat. It has a flat shell and the large body is unable to retract into the shell completely when disturbed.

The bigger surprises of the trip will be this huge snail found trapped on a fishing line (which we have removed)! Kind of bittersweet to find it because we wouldn't have seen this guy if it was not stuck. How big is it?

Here's an estimation of the size using my hand... it is about 8-10cm wide! This is a murex and the id is likely to be Ramose Murex (Chicoreus ramosus).

We waited a while for the body to come out and this was the most we got before I got a little impatient. You can see the operculum which serves as a trap door for the giant snail.

Another fantastic find will be these Trumpet Shells (Cymatium cutaceum) which I have not seen before. They are not common on our shores.

What I like about these snails will be their leopard-print patterns on their body!

The final surprise will be this really huge, in my opinion, Alicia sea anemone (Alicia sp.)! It look like a stranded jellyfish from far.

Here's how the anemone look like inside the water, a little happier I hope... It was not too active though. This anemone may look pretty but it can sting badly. Lesson to learn will be that not all pretty things are meant to be touched haha.

More low tide trips coming up as the tide levels are very low for the next few days!

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