Lots and LOTS of little mudskippers were playing on the shore!
Here's a video clip of them scampering about in the waves. The Gold-spotted mudskipper (Periopthalmus chrysospilos) is quite common on our Northern shores.
There is a nice natural rocky shore here. And it is particularly rich. Not only with all the animals that are found on the rock surface, but also those that hide under stones.
Ovum cowries (Cypraea ovum). Some of them were Mama cowries who refused to move and stayed put on the stone. This is because they are using their huge foot to protect their egg mass.
Hoof-shield limpets (Scutus sp.). and one of them had a huge barnacle growing on its shell.
Little african sea cucumber (Afrocucumis africana).
purple branching sponges (Callyspongia sp.), lots of melted chocolate sponges (Chondrilla australiensis), small patches of other colourful sponges. There were a few small colonies of the hardy Zebra coral (Oulastrea crispata). Some zoanthids still covered the higher shores
ascidians coat the stones in maze-like patterns. These animals are actually grouped with us vertebrates because when they are very young, they have a primitive backbone! This disappears as the animal grows up and turns to a stationary lifestyle.
'Rock' stars (Asterina coronata). Later on Kok Sheng found a large Biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scaber). We didn't see any Sand stars (Astropecten sp.), but probably because they only come out when it is dark. Rene did see two Thorny sea urchins (Prionocidaris sp.) and a Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera).
large cockle. It had feathery bits sticking out between the two valves. We often see this clam on rocky rubbly shores.
Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis) leaves provides shelter for a mind-boggling variety of tiny animals. Some grow on the leaf in lacy patches. There are also lots of tiny striped snails.
Brown sweetlips (Plectorhinchus gibbosus)? It was even tinier than a seagrass blade! Seagrasses provide shelter for young fishes to grow up. Fishermen should thus protect the seagrass meadows so that they can enjoy their sport.
elbow crab (Family Parthenopidae), that I almost missed the tiny shrimp (in lower right corner) on the leaf.
a shrimp goby with its partner shrimp. The fish was standing guard at the burrow entrance as the shrimp bulldozed up and down to maintain the burrow.
Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) on the shore. I didn't see any with anemone shrimps in them. I saw one Swimming anemone (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) but no other kinds of anemones. Oh dear. We usually see many different kinds of anemones here. I also didn't come across any sea pens.
peacock anemones (Order Ceriantharia) on the shore but most were retracted into their tubes. On Changi, the peacock anemones usually are infested with black Phoronid worms (Phylum Phoronida). The delicate fan of these worms sometimes hold a string of white balls like pearls, their eggs?
Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis). I saw one Orange sea cucumber that was well 'wrapped' in dead seagrass leaves. I also saw one Purple sea cucumber out of water. When I put it back into the water, it showed its tiny tube feet. Kok Sheng later spotted a small Garlic bread sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra), and he also saw the Pink warty sea cucumber (Cercodemas anceps) and ball sea cucumber (Phyllophorus sp.).
Spearer mantis shrimp (Harpiosquilla sp.) briefly scurried into view before disappearing into a burrow.
Tidal hermit crabs (Diogenes sp.), with one enlarged pincer.
Slipper snails (Family Calyptraeidae) inside the shell opening, but also a tiny living scallop (Family Pectinidae) attached to it. Today, I didn't see any Fan clams (Family Pinnidae).
checklist of Singapore molluscs (pdf) to look more closely at strange snails on our shores. And this is today's mystery snail. It was tiny (about 1cm) and found among the seagrasses.
Pong pong tree (Cerbera sp.), the squarish ones of the Nyireh (Xylocarpus sp.) , the oval shaped one of the Sea almond (Terminalia catappa). The reddish flower-shaped things are not flowers but a part of the seedling of the Tumu (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza). And of course the long seedling belongs to a mangrove tree.
gnarled seafan. The seafan is a colony of tiny animals, and this one seemed to be still alive. What looks like a discarded drink plastic bag was entangled in it and might have caused it to come loose and drift ashore. Oh dear.
candelabra seafan. It is quite commonly seen in this area. Kok Sheng later 'planted' these uprooted sea fans back into the water. Hopefully they will recover.
mass fish deaths in the area. Let's hope these dead fishes are not an early sign of a similar event this year.
was in July. Let's hope this marvellous shore continues to survive.
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