01 April 2009

More Sentosa surprises

Every trip to a shore, I discover and learn something new! Though I was just here yesterday with the ITE team, today I see yet MORE stuff as I returned for TeamSeagrass monitoring at Sentosa!During the Spider Survey at Sungei Buloh, David Court expressed interest in any sightings of spiders, especially tarantulas, on our shores. So I was quite excited to see a humungous spider among the debris washed up on the high shores.

Hmm ... I think it's a Huntsman spider (Heteropoda sp.) .
It sure was huge though!

On the natural cliffs of this natural shore, there were large orb webs that were almost invisible. The webs were built parallel to the cliff, and the spider hid off the web in some crevice on the cliff.It does look scary. I have no idea what it might be.

The shores were strewn with the delicate star-shaped flowers of the Sea almond (Terminalia catappa).Indeed, just a few weeks ago, the Sea almond trees painted our coastal forest in autumn shades as their leaves turned red and dropped off. Now, they are blooming!In the early morning, the flowers were still fresh and almost sparkled against the dark green leaves! The male flowers form at the tips of the spike.

As I struggled among the loose rocks and pebbles to have a look at the very special mangrove trees on Sentosa, I came across another very special animal on the rocks.It is the Polished nerite (Nerita polita) which I seldom see. And such a pretty one it was too!
Here's what the underside looks like. It has a very different kind of 'door' (operculum) to the shell opening. The operculum is smooth and not 'pimply' like the other Nerite species more commonly seen on our rocky shores.

Today, I also learnt more about a coastal tree, the Tiup tiup tree (Adinandra dumosa) and took lots of underwater photos of our fabulous seagrasses submerged. What wonderful day out on the shores!

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