30 April 2013

Changi twice quickly is twice as rich!

I spent a glorious morning at Changi searching for bryozoans and hydroids for the workshop later that day. I zipped by two different shores during this one low tide, to try to get a good variety of these animals for the workshop.
Changi is simply amazing, and I got slightly distracted with other wonderful marine life that can be seen here.

There are lots of colourful sea cucumbers on this shore including the awesome multi-coloured Sea apple sea cucumber (Pseudocolochirus violaceus), a strange orangey pimply sea cucumber and many Warty pink sea cucumbers (Cercodemas anceps) as well as Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis).
The intriguing 'armoured' sea cucumbers is still found here. This one was huge (for this kind of sea cucumber), more than 1cm long!
This looks like a sea cucumber being 'sucked dry' by a sea anemone! I didn't want to disturb whatever was going on there so I left them alone.
As usual, the lush seagrass meadows were dotted with Cerianthids (Order Ceriantharia) aka peacock anemones, as well as true sea anemones like Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni).
I am surprised to see many nice clumps of different kinds of sea fans (Order Gorgonacea) on a part of Changi that I usually skip over. Sadly, many of the sea fans had been uprooted by fishing lines.
Sea fans are homes to all kinds of small creatures including tiny Red spindle cowries and Tiny colourful brittle stars (Ophiothela danae).
There are also many different kinds of sea stars on this shore including a small Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera), large Biscuit stars (Goniodiscaster scaber), two Eight-armed sand stars (Luidia maculata) but which had only six arms. As well as several Crown sea stars (Asterina coronata).
I saw one small Ball flowery soft coral (Family Nephtheidae) and one large Pink flowery soft coral (Dendronephthya sp.).
There are plenty of different kinds of colourful sponges in all kinds of shapes on the rocks.
I also saw one feather stars (Order Crinodea) and some pretty brittle stars.
At one shore, I found nice clumps of orange things that I think are hydroids. As well as lots of seaweeds encrusted in bryozoans.
I was desperately looking for the glassy branching bryozoans and almost gave up. But just as I was heading home, I decided to check this tyre hanging from a tree. Hurray, in the water collecting in the tyre, there were small clumps of these bryozoans! As well as clumps of tiny fern-like hydroids.
Some parts of the shore were still blanketed in Nest mussels (Musculista senhousia) and embedded in them I saw what looked like the Hairy spoon seagrass (Halophila decipiens). There were few clumps of zoanthids (Order Zoanthidea). I saw one Miliaris cowrie (Cypraea miliaris).

I didn't see any seahorses, octopuses or other spectacular creatures. I hope it's just because I dashed through these locations rapidly and just overlooked them. The last time I visited these shores was in Jul 2012 and Aug 2012.

I was very excited to find out more about the bryozoans and hydroids of Changi, as well as those the rest of the workshop found on their trip to Sisters Island this morning.

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