Thursday, December 23, 2010

Changi on a Not-so-low Tide

The tide at Changi today was not really very low today, but I was glad that we still managed to see a number of interesting things.

Pink Sand Dollar (Peronella lesueuri)
Found this Pink Sand Dollar (Peronella lesueuri) just beneath the sand among some seagrass.

Arachnoides placenta
There were several of the usual plain Sand Dollars (Arachnoides placenta) too.

Salmacis Sea Urchin
The Salmacis Sea Urchin (Salmacis sp.) did not appear to be in season, as I only found one of them, and a few tests. These interesting sea urchins carry all kinds of marine debris to help them camouflage.

Pencil Sea Urchin (Prionocidaris sp.)
A little Pencil Sea Urchin (Prionocidaris sp.) was spotted among the seagrass. The thick spines resembles pencils sticking out of a pencil holder, and hence the common name.

Cake Sea Star (Anthenea aspera)
We found only one little orange Cake Sea Star (Anthenea aspera). Guess the tide was not low enough for us to find bigger ones.

Sand Star (Astropecten sp.)
As it turned a little darker, the Sand Stars (Astropecten sp.) starting emerging from the sand.

Pink Thorny Sea Cucumber (Colochirus quadrangularis) and Pink Warty Sea Cucumber (Cercodemas anceps)
There were lots of Pink Thorny Sea Cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis) and a few Pink Warty Sea Cucumber (Cercodemas anceps). The latter has shorter spines and yellow markings.

Sea cucumber
This poor yet unidentified sea cucumber was washed ashore by the strong waves.

Haddon's Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni)
I was pleasantly surprised to find this rather big Haddon's Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) so near to the upper shore. These big sea anemones are unfortunately collected by poachers for the aquarium trade.

Moon Snail (Polinices didyma)
Not sure what this Moon Snail (Polinices didyma) was doing getting all bloated and kind of twisted. Could it be feeding? This animal feeds on smaller snails and clams by holding them in its huge foot, secretes an acid to soften the shell, and use its radula (something like a tongue) to drill a hole through the shell to reach the meat inside.

Orange Striped Hermit Crab (Clibanarius  infraspinatus)
As per our other trips to this shore, several Orange Striped Hermit Crabs (Clibanarius infraspinatus) were spotted.

Hermit crab
I also saw this unknown hermit crab in a pretty murex shell. Unlike true crabs which have a hard exoskeleton protecting the whole body, hermit crabs have a soft abdomen, and hence need to hide in the shells of dead snails for protection.

Mantis Shrimp (Harpiosquilla sp.)
The tide started rising rather quickly as we were leaving, and we saw two Mantis Shrimps (Harpiosquilla sp.) got washed ashore. These are spearers which hunt for small fishes and other small animals with their power and spiny claws.

Anyway, nice to be back in Singapore exploring our shores! :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice article! My friends and I were fishing along Changi Boardwalk when we caught a white/silver mantis shrimp. It was so beautiful and fragile that we let it go and totally forgot to take a picture of it.