I started seeing the Grey bonnet snails (Phalium glaucum) even as I waded to the shore. I notice they leave a thin string of slime behind them as they crawl over the sand. Many were buried in the sand, with only their white siphons sticking out. These snails are listed as Endangered in the Singapore Red Data Book, so it's great to see so many of them!
Cake sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta) which are abundant on this shore. I notice the snail wraps its foot around the sand dollar. I wonder if the sharp spines at the front of the snail's shell helps it get a grip on the flat prey? So much more to learn about our marine life!
Laganum sand dollars (Laganum depressum) are quite special. Listed as Vulnerable, we rarely see these on our shores! We saw a few at the Lost Coast, and they were rather small.
Sand stars (Astropecten sp.) including a very large one with an orange underside! I also saw one small feather star, and there were also Common sea stars (Archaster typicus) on the shore. The rest of the team also saw a smooth sea cucumber and Travis found heart urchins.
Button snails (Umbonium vestiarum) everywhere on the clean sandy shore. As usual, these snails float up when disturbed in the sand in some water. They tend to 'raft' together before the snails start to sink down one by one. I suspect this is how they quickly escape burrowing predators when they are submerged. Of course, at low tide, out of water, this trick doesn't work. But Button snails can also quickly 'leap' many times their body length.
Ball moon snails (Polinices didyma) were particularly abundant, as well as Oval moon snails (Polinices mammilla). I also saw one Tiger moon snail (Natica tigrina). I saw one Oval moon snail eating, at first I thought it was a snail, but it turned out to be a hermit crab in a snail shell! I didn't want to disturb it too much, so I didn't get a photo of the hermit crab. There were also many small Olive snails (Family Olividae).
Naked moon snails (Sinum sp.) which have very small flat shells with a fine texture of lines on the surface. These snails don't retract their bodies into the shell when disturbed. In fact, the shell is often well embedded in the thick rubbery body, so the animal appears to be a naked moon snail. We found out that these snails produced a LOT of slime! And that they can burrow very quickly into the sand.
wrote a paper about this, confirms that it's Ficus variegata. She mentioned that these snails come out at night. So perhaps there were more but we didn't stay late enough to see them. This snail was also seen at East Coast Park!
whelk (Family Nassaridae)
Tongue sole (Family Cynoglossidae). The rest also saw a large Peacock sole (Pardachirus pavonina). And there was a dead stingray washed up on the shore.
sea pen which didn't look like the usual kinds I see. I also saw a large Plain sea anemone and several swimming anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) stranded on the sand. James also found what looked like a Peachia anemone (Peachia sp.).
shorebirds could still feed on the sand flats. There were lots of them! Subaraj and Con Foley survey the shorebirds here regularly and a few days ago, they kindly invited me to join them.
Our day began in glorious sunshine as we left the wet weather behind on the mainland!
Death March! This time, we took the easy way and Jumari got us to the shore!
We only managed to cover a small portion of this shore and hope to be back to check out the rest soon!
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