22 October 2012

Highlights of Week 1 at the Northern Expedition

Here's a glimpse of some of the interesting places and colourful marine life seen during the first busy week of the Northern Expedition at the Mega Marine Survey that I missed blogging about in earlier posts.
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
Loh Kok Sheng and Ivan Kwan surveyed a part of Pulau Ubin that is rarely visited on Day 2. Past the picturesque Tanjung Tajam.

Here, they saw the intriguing Burgundy sea anemone (Bunodosoma goanense) that so far we've only seen at Punggol.
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
Like many rocky areas on our Northern shores, there are colourful sponges here.
Photo by Ivan Kwan on facebook.
On Day 3 the team visited Tuas, a narrow strip of seagrassy, rubbly and reefy shore that escaped reclamation. It is teeming with reefy life such as beautiful Pink flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae).
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
Also plenty of colourful sea fans (Order Gorgonacea).
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
And sea stars like this large Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera).
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
This pretty pink Slender sea pen (Virgularia sp.) seems to be more commonly seen on reefy areas like Tuas and Beting Bronok.
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
Meanwhile, another team was at Pulau Sekudu, just off Chek Jawa on Pulau Ubin where there are lots of amazing large Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus).
Photo by Ivan Kwan on facebook.
On Day 4 the team visited Changi which is full of colourful marine life. Such as pretty cerianthids (Order Ceriantharia), also known as peacock anemones, although they are not true sea anemones.
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
It is also where we can find all kinds of pretty sea stars like this small Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera).
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
And the Painted sea star (Astropecten sp.)
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
And this gorgeously patterned Moon crab (Matuta planipes) which is commonly seen on Changi but not encountered as often elsewhere.
Photo by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
Meanwhile, another team was at Chek Jawa famous for escaping reclamation and for its seagrass meadows with all kinds of marine life. The large colourful Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) are common here.
Photo by Ivan Kwan on facebook.
Chek Jawa is one of the places where we can encounter the Red scaly sea star (Nepanthia sp.) that isn't very often seen.
Photo by Ivan Kwan on facebook.
The beautiful Little ruby flatworm (Phrikoceros baibaiye) appears to be seasonally common, so it's good to see it during the Northern Expedition.
Photo by Ivan Kwan on facebook.
Back at the lab, all kinds of observations are made. Rene Ong saw this tiny nudibranch that Chay Hoon found laying eggs.
Photo by Rene Ong on facebook.
Jerome Pang shared this close up of a tiny baby squid still inside its egg capsule.
Photo by Jerome Pang on facebook.
Thanks to the many volunteers who shared these photos. This is just a tiny glimpse of the many activities going on and the astounding variety of marine life we have encountered in just seven days of intensive surveys!

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