"What's that big animal out on the shore?!" Mei Lin remarked as we headed out to Chek Jawa in the evening.
otter! We also managed to get seagrass work done, and spot other interesting marine life!
My feeble lens is not long enough and here's my best result of the frisky otter before it disappeared into the water.
OtterWatch has been set up to gather otter sightings! This is part of Meryl Theng's project to study Singapore's otters, and she has just posted on her blog some tips on how to distinguish an otter from other large marine animals you might see on the shore. Bravo! Mei Lin has already submitted this sighting to the study. Please also contribute your sightings too! And tell your friends about OtterWatch!
Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.) on Chek Jawa. There's lots of them here. They grow well on sand bars, especially the portion facing the sea where they seem to be the first to settle on bare sand.
Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata) at Chek Jawa is still huge and lush. There are also good stretches of Fern seagrass (Halophila spinulosa).
Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) is abundant on Chek Jawa and also found on almost every shore in Singapore.
Becarri's seagrass (Halophila beccarii) has tiny narrow leaves that are often spotted. The leaves emerge in a rosette. This seagrass is found in vast meadows at Kranji and Mandai.
Fern seagrass (Halophila spinulosa) is only found on our northern shores and is common on Chek Jawa and Changi. It is made up of tiny little leafets. Each leaflet has serrated edges.
how to tell apart seagrasses and seaweeds that look like seagrasses. There was also a bloom of Sea lettuce seaweed (Ulva sp.) on the shore.
Common sea star (Archaster typicus) and a Plain sea star (Astropecten sp.).
tiny sea anemone on its shell!
gobies (Family Gobiidae) in the pools. They are easy to miss as they blend right into the sandy bottom!
Garlic bread sea cucumbers (Holothuria scabra) that are believed to play an important role in seagrass health. There are also tiny little fishes among the seagrasses, like this well camouflaged filefish (Family Monacanthidae).
cerianthid (Order Ceriantharia) which had captured a tiny shrimp! It's the first time I've seen this behaviour!