Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shore of Manado Island

I was away last week to Manado for my long awaited dive trip. However, this posting is not on my dive experience but rather on the things I saw while not diving. All the photos below are taken out of water without getting wet.
I walk to the jetty after dinner to see any interesting critters after sun set. When I shine my tourch at the water, all kinds of plankton attracted by light and soon gather around the area under my torch.
First is the very tiny insects like plankton and follow by larger tranlucent shrimp like critters.
Soon, the ribbon worm were also attracted not sure by the plankton or my light.
There are lots of climber crabs on the side of the wall.
Cowry and cone snails also can be seen every where.
Hermit crabs and some even carry two large anemones on their back for protection.
I'm shock to see this juvenile mooray eel here.
Juvenile cat fish gather in big school to confuse their predators to increase the chances of surviving.
Not to mention sea urchin and juvenile scorpion fish. I also found lots of juvenile sole fish, lion fish and even stone fish. What interest me the most is able to see the banded boxer shrimp (cleaner shrimps) in actions.
I dip my satay stick (from my dinner earlier) in the water and almost immediately the shrimp came forward to offer me his service.
The shrimp start to clean my satay stick that I offered.
It only took less than a minute to clean up my satay stick.
Well, after the cleanng service, I was offer a free show perform by this pair of boxer shrimps. The larger shrimp (with blue colour, female) take the lead start to stroke the male...
They than move closer to their home... and here's the clip showing their courtship...

video

After the courtship, they move to their home sweet home to continue the unfinished business...

So the next time when you go to any holiday resort that near the beach, check it out at night. You might something interesting!


Monday, July 21, 2008

Hornbill at Changi Point Ferry Terminal

I saw this pair of hornbill at the carpark of CPFT this morning. They are at the lowest branches directly on top of me when I first saw them. They are quite confortable and don't mind I take out my camera and aim at them.
Since they are so 'cooperative', I took a short video clip of them too.
They continue to play with each other and their noise have also attracted RY's attention who were about 100 meters away at the Bus Terminal waiting for bus to join the bird watching.
They flew away after about 10 minutes.

video

And heres the video clip.








Sunday, July 6, 2008

Best Changi Experience - Part II

Beside the Bailer Snail (Melo melo) & noble volute, there are lots of other interesting creatures that we saw this morning.
This sea pen is just rght in front of me when I step onto the shore. The tentacles are visible at the area under the water.Ria found this green little star with knobs on the back. There's a cut on the back probably attack by other predator. I didn't manage to find any live horse shoe crab but I did see at least 4 dead horseshoe crab on the shore. The one on top still looks quite fresh.There are several big carpet anemones and this one house a big anemone shrimp.
The ball sea cucumber (Phyllophorus spiculata) are simply abundance. It can be seen with every few steps and I have to watch my steps and so that I will not step on them.Another very common sea cucumber that can be found at Changi shore.This sea cucumber with smooth body is also quite common on Changi shore.

This spiky sea cucumber have the skin that looks exactly like the sand below. When you see them next time, don't try to wash the sands away from their body!

We came across a few rabbit fish that got stranded on the sea grass bed during low tide. This also gave us a very good opportunity to have a close look on the two special distinct similarities to the rabbit, which have given this fish its name. One is the amazing mouth that slightly protrudes, baring its sharp teeth. These teeth are used for munching on dead coral branches. The fish’s feeding behavior is the second of the similarities to the rabbit. It is a continuing action that gives the appearance of constant munching. Another odd characteristic is the razor sharp fin that can inflict a painful cut; in fact, some species have poisonous glands along their spines, which immediately releases a toxic substance into the inflicted cut.This banded pipe fish is among fishes that got stranded by the going tide.
This school of Eeltail catfish (Plotosus lineatus) really give me some hard time trying to take their photo. They keep swimming on random yet coordinated directions.


This big moons crab is looking for any incoming predator with the body half submerge in the sands. With all the legs in paddle shape, they can easily burrow into the sands with a very fast speed.This is a juveniles moons crab that CH found. Note that all their legs are flat and in paddle shape.

I found this very small crab either take cover or waiting for the worm to come out from the tube that attached on a empty volute shell.This big swimming crab with purple legs! Don't remember I seen this colouration before.

Another beautiful tiny pebble crab that also very good in burrowing.
Without the hard shell as protection, beside taking empty shell of other snails as their home. This hermit crab is adding another security by engaging this big 'body guard' - an anemones!
This Geographica sea hare (Syphonota geographica) caught HB attention while trying to burrow into the sands.
Another expert n burrowing is this peanut worm.
This is the trail or processed sands that leave behind by Acorn worms. Looks like is still fresh!
A close up look on the peacock anemones. Isn't it beautiful?
I like this anemones that looks like glass. The translucent body almost transparant under the sun light.According to CH this is the egg capsule of either octopus or cuttle fish. Really looks like black pearl!Another exciting feather star found by CH.Found this beautiful empty shell. It mght be a olive snail.I also saw this rather huge noble volute.Is not too difficult to spot button shell at Changi. However, it is either empty or occupied by hermit crab. However, I got to see live button shell today!Oh! They got two stalk eyes too.

This stretch of narrow and heavy human traffic shore really a fantastic place that worth going back again and again.