Thursday, August 30, 2007

Exploring Semakau with CNN

Today, Ria, YC, Liana and I were out on Semakau Landfill! But this was no Wildfilms or Team Seagrass trip, and neither was this a public intertidal walk. We were there to bring a TV crew from CNN to film the Semakau shore!

I always enjoy visiting Semakau in the morning, as the intertidal area simply looked great under the morning sun.

Here are the CNN people, Charlie and Constance.

The trip was quite good despite the fact that we didn't have much time to explore the shore due to the rising tide. We managed to see quite a number of things, including the usual suspects:

From top-left going clockwise, we have the common sea star (Archaster typicus), knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus), the sunflower mushroom coral (Heliofungia actiniformis) and the fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa). Pai seh, the above photos were actually taken on a previous trip, as I was busy guiding today :P

However, towards the end when the CNN crew were busy shooting others things, I managed to steal time to take a few quick shots of some of the other interesting stuff we found.

Finally, the mystery was solved. According to Ria, this is a magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnifica)! Been wondering what it is for the longest time. So pai seh. I didn't know that the magnificent anemone's column comes in colours other than purple, since all along I've only seen the purple ones. This one's column is bright brown in colour.

We also saw one of my favourite slugs today - Gymnodoris rubropapulosa! This nudibranch eats other slugs for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

There were huge patches of soft corals of different species, such as the dead men's fingers above.

Of course, there were lots of hard corals too! The anemone coral (Goniopora sp.) above will be even prettier when the tide is higher and the colony is totally submerged - all the flowery polyps will be out and it will look like a ball of flowers!

On the coral rubble area, I found a noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis) laying eggs too! Have seen quite a few noble volute laying eggs during my past few Semakau trips actually. It's always heartening to seeing reproduction in action, as it just shows how very much alive our shores are!

Shawn also found a pair of mangrove horseshoe crabs (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda). If you look carefully, you will see the partially exposed exoskeleton of the female horseshoe crab below the smaller male!

Soon, tide was rising and it's time to go. As we were leaving, we could see gigantic storm clouds moving towards the island. I think we were really lucky that it was all bright and sunny when we were out there on the shore earlier :P

On the whole, I was really glad that I could make it for this trip to share our shores with the CNN crew. Hopefully when this is broadcast, it will raise awareness about the diverse intertidal life we have on our tiny island, and what we can do to conserve the few nature spots that we have left.

For a more complete account of the trip, do visit the Wildfilms Blog! :)


kungfubunny said...

the making of a asian david attenborough?? wowie!!

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

no lah. so pai seh. kalang kabok quite a bit yesterday actually :P

thought the first half was kind of boring and i was a bit disoriented and din really follow the usual guidng "formula" that i use.

i think only at the gymnodoris station then i started to warm up a bit :P