Monday, July 02, 2007

Changi got things to see meh? GOT!

Usually when I tell my friends that I'm going to Changi to explore the shores, the immediate reaction I get is:

"Changi got things to see meh?"

I guess most Singaporeans are used to visiting our shores during high tide, or perhaps because our waters are usually full of sediments, they did not bother to explore much even when the tide is low.

So, they always find it hard to believe that Changi has lots of interesting wildlife to offer! It's all about going there at the right time...

When we reached Changi beach early in the morning, Ria and Chay Hoon were already there. Ria immediately shouted to us to get to where she was. And this is what we saw.

How many animals can you find in the photo above? There are at least 4 of them. Look at the pair of eyes in the middle. They belong to a sole, which is also called a flatfish, as it is very flat. A sole can bury itself under the sand, and this one was happily having a worm for breakfast when we saw it. And just nearby was a whelk, probably attracted by the blood oozing out of the worm. And right on the shell of the whelk was a little anemone.

And not far from the huge sole was yet another flatfish. It didn't hide the sand when I approach it though, so I was able to get quite a few good shots of it :)

The flatfishes were not the only animals that went under the sand though. This was one of the several moon snails I encountered. They normally hunt under the sand for little snails or clams.

The white salmacis sea urchins were certainly in season today. There lots of them every where, and so we had to tread really carefully so as not to step on any of them.

I also saw a dragonet on some fern seagrass. When they are on the sand, it's almost impossible to spot them as they blend in very nicely with the surrounding.

Chay Hoon found this transparent anemone next to a sea pencil, but what got us really baffled were the lumps of things growing on the sea pencil. They look like some egg capsules, but we have never seen them attached to sea pencils before. Hmm...

Here's how a sea pencil looks like without the lumps.

Ria also spotted this beautiful spotted sea cucumber, which was yet another new find!

Here's another sea cucumber I found. Can't remember the name though. Will need to check it up later on my echinoderms guide when I reach home :P

There were lots of geographical seahare too! While I've visited the northern shores many times, this was the first time I saw a geographical seahare. Somehow, I always encounter what I call the pseudo geographical seahare, but never the real one.

Apparently, the geographical seahares had a sexy night, and we saw several of the beehoon-like pink egg capsules.

It was also a "starry" night, and we encountered several sand stars! These seastars have long spines on the sides of their arms which probably helps them to burrow quickly into the sand.

I also saw a few clams here and there. On the top right corner, can you see something buried under the sand? It's a swimming crab.

We also saw several carpet anemones. Hopefully this is a sign that the poachers have decided to stop collecting them at Changi. We have seen poachers coming to Changi with huge plastic bags to collect them, and this is quite worrying as collection may eventually lead to extinction, and our future generations will not get to enjoy seeing these beautiful animals on our shores.

We also saw a cute little kite butterflyfish in a tidal pool.

And in the same tidal pool was a green pipefish.

But what got me really excited was the pipefish's relative - this yellow seahorse! Ria had asked me if I was kidding when I told her that I've never seen a yellow seahorse before. It was supposed to be quite common, but somehow, I always see the black or brown seahorses, but never the yellow ones! So finally, today, I got to see it!

On a patch of seaweeds, I saw lots of little crabs. Why were they having a mass gathering here?

But taking a closer look at some of them gave me the answer. Love was in the air, or rather, sex was in the air. If only the sand star had a brain, I wonder what it could be thinking with the pair of crabs going hardcore between its arms.

Marcus was telling me that he wanted to see moon crabs, and just before we were about to leave, I found one stranded on some seaweeds. After snapping a few shots, we put it onto the sandy area, and after resting for a while, it burrowed into the sand with its paddle-shaped legs.

Well, seems like after so many trips, Changi still have lots of surprises to offer :)

1 comment:

kiew said...

Thanks for all yr wonderful pics.
Didnt know that there can be such interesting finds at Changi Beach! Appreciate if you can share which part of Changi Beach?