05 December 2009

Exploring Ubin's other shores: seagrasses

We explored a new shore at Pulau Ubin on Thursday, and there were some stretches of seagrasses there!
These were full of marine life that we typically see on our northern shores. Such as Biscuit sea stars (Goniodiscaster scaber).

There were lots of Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis) with broad, fresh green blades. Growing on very VERY soft ground.
Besides the usual large Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni), I also saw one Tiny carpet anemone (possibly Stichodactyla tapetum).
Some parts of the seagrasses had lots of colourful Button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.) or colonial anemones.
And of course, some peacock anemones (Order Ceriantharia) too.
Splashing around in groups were these large fat mudskippers. I'm not really sure what kind they are. This bunch splashed noisily to perch on an abandoned drum in the middle of the soft ground, well out of reach of pesky shore explorers.
The team also came across Spearer mantis shrimps (Harpiosquilla sp.), Crown sea stars (Asterina coronata), strange jellyfish and other interesting marinelife. I'm sure they'll blog about these soon.

Before I headed down to the seagrasses, I also checked out the high shores. On the boulders that form such fascinating shapes on Pulau Ubin, there were lots of encrusting animals. Crammed together on the best wet spots are barnacles and limpets of all kinds.
Huddled on cool areas are groups of little periwinkles (Family Littorinidae).
Wedged in moisty crevices were Green mussels (Perna viridis) and a pink curl of the shell of a Worm snail (Family Vermetidae). These odd creatures are mistaken for worms but are actually molluscs!
The high shores were full of creeper snails (Family Cerithiidae).
And on sandier parts there were tiny sand bubbler crabs (Scopimera sp.).
As well as some Orange fiddler crabs (Uca vocans).
And under the stones were all kinds of creatures. Huddled here are a Hoof-shield limpet (Scutus sp.) and an Ovum cowrie (Cypraea ovum).
A strange sight to see washed up on the shore were lots of pieces of dead hard corals.
And even large pieces of dead coral.
Also, there were patches of these White-stemmed green seaweeds (Neomeris sp.) that I usually only see near reefs.
Is there a reefy part near this shore? We found out soon enough. More in the next post.

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