Thursday, June 4, 2015

Predawn at Changi shore

It's my first predawn trip at Changi shore this year! We were back in May to check out an old friend of ours, a shore that I have been visiting since 2007. Was sharing with Jianlin that though life has moved on over the years, the shore still basically remains as it is, a constant that doesn't really change.

As it was an early trip, we ended the shore exploration during sunrise! It was a spectacular one with rays of hope overwhelming the dark navy sky during dawn.

What's special about this trip would be the numerous snails which has recently been identified as Babylonia spirata. It's our first time seeing so many of them on a single trip.

Do read this paper written by Siong Kiat as he described more about this new record for Singapore.

On the hard surface, one would sometimes be able to spot this stunning Onyx cowrie (Erronea onyx) with a golden-brown shell.

There were many Big-head seagrass octopuses on the shore when it is still cool and dark. Many of them love to hide in discarded bottles or pots.

The only type of slug that I saw on this trip was the Ornate leaf slug (Elysia ornata).

This stretch of Changi is usually slightly soft and silty. There are many of the Pink warty sea cucumbers (Cercodemas anceps) and Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis).

The smaller versions of the Biscuit sea stars (Gonodiscaster scaber) are also abundant on this shore and we also came across this huge one!

A special echinoderm find would be two of these Eight-armed sand star (Luidia maculata). They are not commonly found on our northern shores.

Another uncommon sea star would be the Luidia sand star (probably Luidia hardwicki)! This individual is bad injured though.

A trip to this stretch of Changi wouldn't be complete without finding the psychedelic Sea apple sea cucumber (Pseudocolochirus violaceaus)! Though pretty and brightly coloured, these sea cucumbers are extremely toxic when placed in an aquarium or tank.

Though there isn't many Slender sea pens (Virgularia sp.), we saw one large sea pen with encrusting animals growing at its tip!

Another animal that grows / is found on an animal would be this anemone that was carried by the Leaf porter crab (Family Dorippidae). The crab should now be called as the anemone porter crab. Haha!

Update: Chay Hoon just shared with me that this is NOT the leaf porter crab. It is a special crab that only carries anemone. It was previously found during dredging at CMBS Northern Expedition! 

I caught this pair of Flower crabs (Portunus pelagicus) mating! Usually, the male is on top.

At the rocky areas, there were some colonies of Sea fans (Order Gorgonacea) exposed at the lowest tide.

At the base of a red colony is this resting fish which unfortunately I am unable to identify.

To end off this post, shall share with you guys a six-armed Crown sea star (Asterina coronata).

Looks like we will only revisit this stretch of shore again next year. Hope it remains well before we meet again!

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