Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lovely morning at Tanah Merah

This is an outdated post of the morning low tide trip to Tanah Merah back in end March. Decided to visit the reclaimed shores of Tanah Merah with Ron to see how it is doing since the oil spill in 2010.

We were greeted with a warm sunset over the horizon as we explored the sandy and rocky parts of the shore. It was a long low tide that allowed us to properly look at this long shore.

It is heartening to see many hard corals growing by the side of the high rock boulders. As this is a reclaimed shore, these corals actually settle on the shore by their own.

The water was relatively clear that morning and that allowed me to take good photos of the many boulder hard corals that we have sighted on the trip. Though most of these corals are usually found outside of the seawall, there are still quite a number of them living within.

There were also some hard corals which are plate-like in structure. They are not as common as corals with boulder forms.

I particularly like this Brain coral (Family Mussidae) with a graceful-looking Fan worm (Family Sabellidae) that looks like a flower that beautifies the coral. The Brain coral is not commonly sighted especially on mainland or near-mainland reefs.

Another uncommon mainland hard coral would be this Anemone coral (Goniopora sp.).

I also stumbled upon a small colony of the rare Cabbage coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi) in deeper waters.

Definitely not as abundant as hard corals, this colony of Leathery soft coral (Family Alcyoniidae) is particularly large though! We have been monitoring this colony for some time and it's good to know that it is doing fine.

This Persian carpet flatworm (Pseudobiceros bedfordi) that is usually sighted on Tanah Merah has an interesting species name. It was named by Chee Kong as the "Bet 4D" flatworm because of its species name "bedfordi". Haha!

This is probably my third time seeing this feisty yet cute looking Ridged swimming crab (Charybdis natator). It has pretty white dots on its eyes. 

The Common sea stars (Archaster typicus) are still there and it is wonderful to see them in mating position. This means more stars in the future!

We also stumbled upon one of them with six arms.

A pleasant surprise on the trip would be to find this unidentified Astropecten sand star (Astropecten sp.) that was only found at Changi East previously. Sadly, one of its arms was chomped off.

Another lovely surprise would be Ron's find of this Hell's Fire anemone (Actinodendron sp.)! My first time seeing this scary anemone after the oil spill.

The Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) are still there and there are anemone shrimps (Periclimenes brevicarpalis) living with some of these anemones.

I spotted this small Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) with no commensal living together with it. This anemone is not common on the shores of Tanah Merah.

The Cerianthids (Order Ceriantharia) or also known as peacock anemone are so pretty that I couldn't resist not taking photos of them though we have seen them before so many times.

I thought I was fortunate to see this handsome Peacock sole (Pardachirus pavoninus) because these solefish usually swim quickly or burrow into the sand. It was only on closer look that I realize that this individual was dying or was already dead. There are many snails that were feasting on the fish.

No trip to Tanah Merah is complete without seeing the infamous Hollow-cheeked stonefish (Synanceia horrida)! I managed to find it quite far away from the usual hangout area (seawall) only towards the end of the trip.

All too soon, it is time to go. Till next time!

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