Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Changi Beach with MGS

This is again a long-overdue post. We conducted a seashore ecology workshop for MGS on 19 May 2010, and here are some of the things we saw during the trip.

I spotted this little sea anemone among the seagrass. Looks like a juvenile carpet anemone (Stichodactyla sp.), but not sure what species it is though. It's a little too small to tell.

There were lots of ball sea cucumbers stranded on the seaweed covered beach. It had been raining for the past few days, and the currents were kind of strong. Guess these unfortunate sea cucumbers were washed up by the strong waves.

These pink thorny sea cucumbers appeared to be in season, and there were many of them on the shore.

We came across a few of these translucent sea cucumbers.

We are still not exactly sure of the exact ID of these very smooth sea cucumbers.

While the students were conducting their survey, we found this large dead cuttlefish.

One of the students spotted this razor clam.

There were several window pane shells too, and many of them had other animals, such as scallops, barnacles and limpets, growing on their shells.

We saw a few gong gongs, but they appear to be juveniles. This is one sea snail that is commonly seen been sold at our local markets and food centres.

This moon snail was found prowling just under the sand. It's probably hunting for small snails and clams.

We found an empty moon snail shell, and there's an orange striped hermit crab inside. Despite the common name, hermit crabs are not true crabs. They have a soft and vulnerable abdomen, and need to hide in dead gastropod shells to protect themselves.

A student spotted this pretty little pebble crab. And the carapace of the crab appeared just like a pebble!

There were plenty of sand dollars too. We often joke that it's interesting that we can usually find sand dollars on the sand bank.

And there were a number of sand stars too! This little sea star is a predator of small snails and clams.

This one had a more colourful top surface.

There were a few brittle stars too. These animals are closely related to sea stars, and the arms break easily when they feel threatened - a way for them to distract their predators.

The pencil sea urchins were in season too. They got their name from their thick pencil-like spines.

A few pipefish were also seen. These fish are closely related to seahorses, and like the latter, the females will deposit their eggs into a pouch on the males, and the males are the ones getting pregnant!

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