Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tuas After Almost 2 Years

Was given 3 hours time off by my boss for a night event that I had to cover, and thus decided to join Samson at Tuas on Monday.

The last time I visited Tuas was like almost 2 years ago. We had to take a boat there then. But thanks to Schering Plough, we can now visit this lovely shore on foot.

The tide was still a little high when we went onto the shore, and I went into the water hoping to find something interesting.

And the first animal I saw in the water was this cute little jellyfish, which looked like a mushroom with the spots on the bell.

On the shore which was already exposed, we found several Haddon's carpet anemone.

Soon, the tide got lower, and we were able to venture out further.

I was wondering what this striped hermit crab was doing, until I realised that it wasn't holding a rock, but another shell. And soon, I noticed that there was another hermit crab in the other shell! Didn't quite look like they was fighting though. Could it be a male hermit crab guarding a female hermit crab on some kind of mating ritual? Any hermit crab experts out there can advise on this?

We also found several sea pens. This is actually a colony of animals! The centre shaft is the primary polyp, while the feather-like stuff on the sides are the secondary polyps.

As the water level got lower, we began to see many brilliantly coloured peacock anemones too. These pretty animals live in leathery tubes, and they will tuck their tentacles into the tubes when the tide is low or when they sense danger.

Helen spotted this sand star, which was also the only sea star we found for this trip.

This is not a colony of soft corals or sea anemones, but their relatives called zoanthids.

And here's a colony of soft corals. Some how, there are lots of soft corals at Tuas. We found a few sea fans too, but unfortunately the water was too murky and I couldn't get a good shot. Samson managed to find one in less murky water though.

There were several thunder crabs too.

Found this huge anemone which I thought could be a Macrodactyla doreensis.

As the tide got even lower, I managed to go all the way to the beacon, and found patches of hydroids exposed due to the low tide. Good thing that I was wearing longs, or I could have been left with some "souvenirs" on my legs. Hydroids can sting and leave painful scars. However, I must say that there were much fewer hydroids compared to the last time I was here. In fact, there were fewer sea fans and hard corals too.

Had hoped that most of the things would have come back by now, ever since the Wildfilms gang noticed the sudden disappearance of many marine life near the beacon more than a year ago. While the situation has certainly improved, I guess it probably need more time to return to its former glory.

Just before we were about to leave the shore, we found this pretty pink thorny sea cucumber.

Certainly hope to return to this beautiful place again soon to check on the progress of the recovery again. And thanks to Samson, Sheryl, Helen and Haniff for making this trip possible :)


juanicths said...

drats...nearest shore to home and I have nv been there :( hope I get to join you guys when you head down there again!

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Yup, it's a nice place :)

greengalego said...

Wow! that´s what i call i cool blog. Makes me wanna plan a visit to Singapore soon. Congratulations.

Hugs from Brazil.

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

Hey! Thanks for visiting my blog! And sure hope you'll be able to visit Singapore as well. If you need more info on the various nature spots in Singapore, just drop me a comment on my blog! :)