Friday, April 5, 2013

First morning trip at Pasir Ris shore

It's back to the other half of the year where we resume low spring tide trips in the morning!

This time, I visited Pasir Ris shore with a friend, Marcus who has not seen our intertidal marine life before. My last trip here was more than 2 years ago on November 2010. How is the shore doing now?

Somehow I prefer to visit the mainland shores in the predawn or morning hours as there is lesser human traffic.

And it is always such a surreal feeling to catch a rare sight of spectacular sunrise.

The sea stars are still around and these Plain Sand stars (Astropecten indicus) were out in full force during this trip as there are many beds of Nest mussels (Musculista senhousia) on the shore. These sea stars feed on the mussels so it must be like a buffet table for them!

Totally outnumbered by the plain sand stars, I only saw one Painted sand star (Astropecten sp.).

I was glad to find two of these small Cake sea stars (Anthenea aspera) which have been seen regularly before on this shore.

A pleasant surprise would be to find some of these huge Biscuit sea stars (Gonodiscaster scaber). Interestingly, I didn't find the smaller ones of this species. Maybe I didn't look hard enough or they are well camouflaged.

It seems to be the season for the Hairy sea hares (Bursatella leachii) as we saw many of these creatures on the shores of Pasir Ris.

On certain stretches, we can also find many of these Swimming anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) stranded on the shore as the tide was out. 

Not commonly found, this Glass anemone (Dofleinia sp.) is known to sting badly if we touch their tentacles. 

These Striped bead anemones are usually seem out of water with its tentacles tucked into the body column. It was quite a good opportunity to take a nice relaxed photo with this individual.

Since anemones can sting some animals or predators, we now know what functions these small anemones play since they are attached to the shell of this whelk snail.

When the tide went to its minimum, we had a short rare moment of exploring the shore in clear waters. This is something that is unusual since murky waters predominate the Johore Straits where Pasir Ris shore is. This shot shows the Zebra coral (Oulastrea crispata) with their tentacles sticking out.

This Seagrass octopus was first seen stranded but it quickly went into its burrow upon sensing our presence.

This is the trip to Pasir Ris which I came across many of these swimming crabs on the shore during low tide.

No seahorse sighted but at least I came across two of the closely related Seagrass pipefishes.

It's nice to see the Slender seamoth (Pegasus volitans). It has large 'wings' which are its pectoral fins, and a long stiff pointed snout that is made up of modified nose bones. That probably explains why it looks like a moth.

Do you see what I see? Look closer....

It is actually a tiny sea spider. Sea spiders are not true spiders. They live on eating sea sponges, bryozoans, cnidarians, and polychaetes.

It was a good trip out though this shore can be really muddy and hard to walk on. A good morning workout with appreciation of nature is a good perspective to enjoy this trip.

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