Sunday, June 22, 2008

Exploring Semakau Shore (21st June 2008)

After about 40 minutes of boat ride from Marna South Pier, we arrived at Pulau Semakau. Pulau Semakau is the only landfill left in Singapore that still in operations since April 1999 after the closure of Lorong Halus Dumping Ground.

Suprisingly with the reclamaition & construction for the landfill operations, with proper planning & management, in fact Semakau is one of the best spot for all the nature lovers. There are regular trips conducted by various interest groups to Semakau for bird watching, sports fishing & inter tidal walks.

There are about 40 partcipants joining todays inter tidal walk. The shore of Semakau is full of signs of life! The star shape marks is every where! These are the marks left behind by common sea star (Archaster typicus) after they burrowed into the sands.

There are several anemones shrimps swimming in & out of this anemone.

These sea cucumber with the very distinctive 'eyespots' is called Ocellated sea cucumber (Stichopus ocellatus)

We also saw another sea cucumber from the same family, a dragonfish sea cucumber (Stichopus horrens)

There are also several slugs that we saw today. I have been seeing this blue dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina) for my last few trips. This is one of the nudibranch that have evolved symbiotic relationships with zooxanthellae to turn sunlight into sugars.

This nudibranch that we found is a juvenile which has not yet developed its crop of zooxanthellae. Thus, the colour tend to be pale & dull.

This is my second time seeing this Platydoris scabra nudibranch in Semakau.

This is another nudibranch that we found, a Chromodoris lineolata.

This is a Phyllidiella pustulosa nudibranch

Another beautiful slug that we saw today, a Glossodoris atromarginata.

There are several animals that was 'trapped' by the spring low tide. Animals that living in the inter tidal area must be able to endure the heat when out of water during low tide & the flush of fresh water during heavy rain.
Although this knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus) give me the sign that he is OK.Actually, the curl arm is the sign of stress and when they are out of water for too long...they will DIE! The minute I put it into a tidal pool, it straight away take in water and relax all its arm.Another animals that could'nt hide before the tide was going too low. Is the sea horse.This giant claim are exposed to dirict sunlight too.I found this little black sea urchin (Diadema setosum) hiding under a rock.
This octopus is quite a big one, trying to burrow into the sands.While we on the way back to the shore, we finally found this Nobel volute (Voluta nobilis). It has not been seen for the last 2 monts after seeing lots of them laying eggs at the same time.

Glad to see that animals at Semakau is doing well.

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