Sunday, June 3, 2007

Semakau Tidal Walk - 3 June 07

When we arrived at Semakau, the sun was right on top of Pulau Jong. Isn't this beautiful? We waste no time in this beautiful morning and proceed straight to the tidal area where most of the interesting creatures are. The intertidal or littoral zone only exposed during low tide and only during low tide, we'll be able to see the organisms living in this zone without the need of scuba equipment.
This is a common sea star (Archaster typicus). Most people still call it a Star Fish. Since they are not fish, is more appropriate to call them as Sea Star. Although the name Common Sea Star, however they are no longer common. They used to be very common on Changi Beach & East Coast but getting rarer now due to over collecting. They are still seen regularly on offshore island and Semakau is one of the places where Seastars can still be found.
We saw quite a few sea cucumber today. Clockwise from top left, Stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora [holothurian]) usually has a whitish or greyish 'backside'. Follow by a thorny sea cucumber and Ocellated sea cucumber (Stichopus ocellatus)The most distinctive feature of this sea cucumber is their conspicuous 'eyespots'.

We also saw quite a few different feathery fan worms.

We also saw this Wandering cowrie (Cypraea errones). As cowrie are greatly sought by shell collectors, they are very rare now even at Semakau.

Luck is on our side today, we even saw this super rare Heart cockle. The “Heart Cockle” is a very unique shell. Also know by it’s latin name: Cardium cardissa, it has been a symbol of love through out the ages. Heart Cockles come in a variety of colors from yellows to pinks. No two are the same color.

Branching sea anemone seems to be in season. They can be seen everywhere.

Carpet anemone with their short & sticky tenticles cover the whole oral disk.

Look what we found near the Carpet anemone? Is a symbiotic anemone shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis)

A life Scallop

We saw a lot of this small crabs but I have no idea of their name yet.

Can you tell what is in the photo above? Yes is a Hairy Crab. Hairy crab is covered by a coat of silky hairs which help it to blend in with the surroundings. Hairy crabs feed on seaweed and also eat toxic zoanthids (colonial anemones) which make them mildly poisonous too.
This is a Polka Dot nudibranch (Jorunna funebris)

This is a Discodoris nudibranch (Discodoris boholiensis). Nudibranchs are sea slugs. The feather-like gills exposed (hence their name - naked gills).

One of the most beautiful organisms at Semakau - Knobbly Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus)

As usual, how can we not take photo with this beautiful creature? This is the Sea Horses group (from HSBC Green Volunteers) taking photo with Semakau super star!

Another wonderful morning at Semakau. Thanks to all participants, I hope it has been your interest.