Sunday, May 31, 2009

Filming at Semakau

Today, while the rest of the RMBR guides met at Marine South Pier for the guided walk, I was alone at Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal, waiting for a film crew. They were doing a TV programme at Semakau, and I was their guide for one of the segments. Come to think of it, this was my fifth appearance on a TV programme. The last time I did any filming was for an environmental video series, Earth Factor You about a year ago. Have not heard from them after the filming session, so hopefully that won't be the case this time round. Haha.

The film crew soon arrived, and we got onto the boat prepared by NEA. Was a little worried seeing them doing some filming during the boat ride and the sea got a little choppy at the beginning, but fortunately no one lost his/her balance :P

We soon reach the island. The film crew brought a whole load of equipment and it took them a while to get everything off the boat.

We soon got everything organised, and made our way to the intertidal area. As I had to guide and "act" at the same time, did not managed to take many photos of the organisms we saw. It was definitely still a good day with lots of things to see despite the heat :)

Mangrove Horseshoe Crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda)
The first animal found by our hunter-seekers was this little Mangrove Horseshoe Crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda). Horseshoe crabs are very ancient animals, and were already around more than 400 million years ago! Generally, they are basically scavengers, but also feed on bivalves.

Synaptid Sea Cucumber (Family Synaptidae)
I found this Synaptid Sea Cucumber (Family Synaptidae) while crossing the seagrass meadow. This long sea cucumber feeds on organic particles by lashing its tentacles around to pick up them up from its surrounding.

After we crossed the seagrass meadow, the film crew decided to do a 360 degree shot. As you can see, it was so hot today, that one of the crew member decided to go topless...

Juvenile Cushion Star (Culcita novaeguineae)
I was really delighted to find that our hunter-seekers found us not one, but two juvenile Cushion Star (Culcita novaeguineae)!

Juvenile Cushion Star (Culcita novaeguineae)
Here's the other one. The adult of this sea star is one of the biggest sea star found in local water, and possibly the heaviest too.

Knobbly Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus)
But the star of every Semakau walk is always the Knobbly Sea Stars (Protoreaster nodosus). And we even saw one with 6 arms instead of the usual 5 arms!

Knobbly Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus)
Another knobbly we saw had the usual 5 arms. Understand that another group found 4 other knobblies nearer to the reef crest.

Tigertail Seahorse (Hippocampus comes)
The tide wasn't very low, but we were really lucky that we managed to see a Tigertail Seahorse (Hippocampus comes)!

Hard Coral
We did not managed to reach the reef crest as tide was already rather high, but we still managed to see quite a few huge colonies of hard corals.

The filming soon ended, and I went back to the main buidling with one of the NEA staff, Shawn.

Fluted Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosa)
Along the way, we stopped by to take a look at this pretty Fluted Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosa). It certainly looked like it has grown bigger. This clam can grow up to about 30cm wide.

Back at the main NEA building was a curious scene, with lots of wet shoes and a tripod under the sun...

It's been a long and hot morning, and finally the film crew got to have some rest and food.

Hope I didn't do too badly during the filming. Haha :P

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