28 April 2009

Splendid super-low at Changi

What a fabulous day we had at the super low tide at Changi today!It was another fish-filled day!

James found this Estuarine seahorse (Hippocampus kuda) almost as soon as we got started exploring. This one is a female and you can even see her tiny anal fin at her belly.Before we went home, Kok Sheng and I found another one!Kok Sheng also found this flatfish! It is probably the Large tooth flounder (Family Paralichthyidae). Flatfishes undergo an amazing change as they grow up.

When it first hatches, a flatfish larva looks like the larva of other ‘normal’ fish. As the larva matures, it starts to swim on one side of its body. One eye moves to what becomes the upperside, also called the eyed side. The mouth and one pectoral fin also becomes asymmetrically distorted. There are also changes in the skeleton and digestive system. The change may be completed within five days.I think this is the Large tooth flounder because its eyes are on the left side of the body, and the tail is separated from the dorsal and anal fins. This fish has a permanent frown.I also came across a large Longspined scorpionfish (Paracentropogon longispinis). It has a pair of spines next to its mouth, and venomous spines on its dorsal fins. When stepped upon or mishandled, the stout spines on the dorsal fins act like hypodermic needles, injecting venom into the offending foot or hand. The venom is excruciating to humans. Some species are commonly called waspfishes for their nasty stings.

This is why it is important not to go barefoot on the shore, and avoid touching any animals on the shore.

In the murky deeper waters among the seagrasses, I almost missed these filefishes (Family Monacanthidae).
Can you spot these well camouflaged fishes? There are two of them in the photo.And zooming about were these little fishes. The striped one might be a Trumpeter perch (Pelates quadrilineatus), while the one beneath it might be a White-spotted rabbitfish (Siganus canaliculatus).
Then there was this peacock anemone that is different from the more commonly seen ones. I call it the dusky peacock anemone and so far, I've seen it only on our Nothern shores, mainly on Changi, but also on Chek Jawa. It has more elegantly tapering tentacles, and seems to have a circle of shorter tentacles under the long tentacles.Another feathery special was this fan worm that I've not seen before. I saw several of them today. While the icky Acorn worm (Class Enteropneusta) doing its thing is commonly seen, I usually see these on bare sandy stretches. Today, there was one right in the middle of a lush seagrass meadow. Did the seagrass 'move' to take over a previously sandy patch? There's so much more to learn about our shores!

I also did separate posts on the very many Hairy sea hares and the crabs I met on the shore today.

With Kok Sheng around, of course we see lots of exciting things we've never seen before and other rare stuff. He found several strange snails, a large dark coloured Remarkable sea cucumber (Holothuria notabilis), the Moon-headed sidegill slug (Euselenops luniceps). He's blogged about the cartoonish sidegill slug and will blog about the rest soon.

All too soon, it's sunrise and the tide is turning. Here's James capturing the fleeting moment.
Changi lies next to major international shipping lanes with huge ships such as the RORO (Roll On Roll Off) in the horizon that carries cars. The ships are travel to Pasir Gudang in Johor as well as Sembawang shipyard, one of our largest shipyards. Despite this, there is still so much life on the shores!

Posts about this trip
Cartoon slug on Changi and Weird snail at Changi and crabs, fishes and echinoderms by Kok Sheng on his wonderful creations blog.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, wonderful sightings!

    Looking forward to the next opportunity to head down to catch the early morning low tides.



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