Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pulau Semakau: Echinoderm Hunting : Tuesday, 22 April 2008

:: Ria invited us on a trip to Pulau Semakau on Tuesday, in the wee hours of the morning, with Dr Lane, the expert in Echinoderms (sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers etc) to look for echinoderms on our shores. We were tasked to find uncommon echinoderms but it was the usual suspects that we found (at times, we were distracted by other things..Semakau has that effect on you)::

:: Us intrepid volunteers making our way to Semakau ::

:: Our first knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus) spotted by myself. And it is rather huge ::

:: SiJie, Vyna and I were walking and we saw this fish. Its a flat head or a crocodile fish. We thought it was dead ::

:: Chanced upon this rather large flat worm ::

:: Dawn slowly approaches ::

:: Another knobbly sea star, this one found by Marcus. And right beside it was a sea cucumber which had its innards split open. We reckon that some fisherman came by and were collecting these benign creatures and this unfortunate fellow fell out. Such a bloody waste! ::

:: A mushroom coral (Heliofungia actiniformis). It is not a sea anemone::

:: Lucky for us the ominous rain clouds stayed above mainland Singapore. And those, my friends, are the petrochemical industries that make our country rich..but at what price? ::

:: Good Lord! Some moronic fisherman left his brain behind! Actually its a brain coral (Family Mussidae).::

:: Contrary to what some people think (ha!), I spotted this chunky Sandfish sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra) first, then realised that there were two mating nudibranchs on top of it. They are Chromodoris lineolata ::

:: Nearby, I spotted a polka-dotted nudibranch (Jorunna funebris) and right beside it, another pair of Chromodoris lineolata mating. Gee, at least some creatures are having wanton sex. ::

:: Hard and soft corals. Semakau is rich in coral species, as you can see ::

:: This stunning peacock anemone reminds me of its flora name sake: the french anemone ::

:: This is a type of nudibranch: the black phyllid ::

:: A synaptid sea cucumber curled around these bulbous sponges ::

:: Robin taking a shot of a sea cucumber, while a pulsating jellyfish swims by ::

:: My favourite neon pink sponges ::

:: Nope, didn't see any Nemos or shrimps under this sea anemone (Stichodactyla sp.) ::

:: A gorgeous flat worm. Looks likes its in PJs ::

:: i thought this sponges were rather interesting looking. Like 3 aliens or like an art piece that one might find at the Venice Binnale. Or like that tourist attraction in Blue Mountains, Sydney Australia, the 3 Sisters::

:: After a long morning, we took the fast craft back to mainland and it was time for Vyna, Helen and myself to open the Team Seagrass booth at Singapore Polytechnic's G-pop event, in celebration of Earth Day! ::

:: Helen getting SOME interest from someone .... ::

:: ...and girls from Hwa Chong Junior Collage, with our cool new stickers, designed by Siti.::

:: Our booth was by far the most informative, fun and exciting one at the event. We had a baby dugong (whom I named Bruce) on loan from the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity, thanks to Sijie .(Okay, I am biased)::

:: A close up of poor baby bruce. Baby Bruce was found inside his mother, whom died either from a fish net strangulation or was bludgeoned to death by boat propellers. Yes, she was found on Pulau Ubin ::

:: Tomorrow we get to go to Cyrene reef with Dr Lane and everyone else again! Woot! ::

1 comment:

Christy Trotter said...

I love the sea creatures!