Sunday, January 02, 2011

Semakau Walk on 2 Jan 2011

Today, we had our very first Semakau trip for 2011! This trip is special, because it was meant for active Project Semakau volunteers to bring their friends and family to learn more about what they do for this project.

Despite the rain and we had to end the intertidal walk within an hour, we had lots of fun and several nice sightings for the year's first Semakau trip!

Here are some of the volunteers with their guests.

As we entered the intertidal area, we were immediately greeted with hundreds of Hairy Sea Hares (Bursatella leachii).

Many of them were in the process of burrowing into the sand. I did not see any mating chains though.

However, we did see the egg ribbons laid by the sea hares.

There was a little Mangrove Horseshoe Crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda) at the sandy shore area. Horseshoe crabs are very ancient animals, and they have been around even before the dinosaurs time!

I saw a Giant Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea), but could not find any anemonefish or anemone shrimps.

The Tape Seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) was blooming! In this photo, you can see the both the female flower and the male flowers. The latter are the small white bits stuck in the middle of the flower, and there's one on floating to the right side of the female flower too.

Several small Noble Volutes (Cymbiola nobilis) were found. I saw a few matured ones laying eggs too.

This Spider Conch (Lambis lambis) has a hard coral growing on its shell, which probably helps the snail to camouflage better.

And the highlight of every Semakau trip must be the Knobbly Sea Stars (Protoreaster nodosus)! We found several juveniles, each not more that 10cm wide.

One of the juveniles even had 6 arms!

We later found a huge one, about 30cm wide.

But that's when the sky started darkening and soon, it started raining.

We had to end the walk for safety reasons, but I was sure it was still a very interesting walk for most of the participants!

No comments: