Friday, April 25, 2008

Semakau Walk with International Students

Today, I have a group of international students with me at Semakau Landfill. As the group is rather small, we departed from West Coast Pier again. Here's a quick recap of the trip.

We had to walk from the old Pulau Sakeng to Pulau Semakau as it was too early for the NEA staff to drive us there. Fortunately, the sky was covered by the clouds and it was quite cooling.

As we entered the secondary forest, LK spotted this praying mantis on the sea almond tree.

Many kids these days know that sponges are animals that can be found in the sea, thanks to the cartoon "SpongeBob SquarePants". And here's a pretty sponge we saw before we entered the seagrass meadow.

And of course, I always remember to take a fun shot of my visitors walking across the seagrass meadow :)

The seagrass meadow is an important nursery ground for many marine organisms, as there are lots of hiding places and food. Many of the seafood we eat spend part of their life living among the seagrasses.

One of the first animals we saw after crossing the seagrass meadow is this cute little orange striped hermit crab (Clibanarius infraspinatus). Unlike true crabs, a hermit crab has a soft abdomen, and thus, need to hide it in a shell for protection. So if you are out there on the shores, please don't pick up any shells, or you may be depriving some hermit crabs of their protective shells, and they will have to run around naked! That makes them very vulnerable to predators.

We also saw lots of common sea star (Archaster typicus), and some of them were getting ready for some hot action.

We found this scallop (Chlamys sp.) near the common sea stars.

Our hunter seekers also found us this pretty polka dot nudibranch (Jorunna fundebris). It is a sea slug that feed on sponges.

While we were trying to search for the knobbly sea star, my group spotted this sandfish sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra) instead. It is edible, but must be properly treated before it can be eaten.

This type of jellyfish is apparently in season these days, and I've been seeing them both on our northern and southern shores. Even as out boat is arriving at the jetty earlier, we could see many of them swimming in the water.

At this point, tide was rising and we still couldn't find the knobbly sea star. And just when we decided to head back, JL shouted to us. And YES! He found it!

So finally, we mananged to take the traditional group shot with the knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus)!

Hopefully we can find it as well tomorrow :)


Anonymous said...

are you sure sea nettles are edible?don't think so...never ate one before.i only ate white ones from another type.looks like a moon jelly but not.

Ron Yeo said...

Hi, I think you may have read wrongly. I only mentioned that the sandfish sea cucumber is edible. I did not mention that the sea nettle is edible.